Anyone can start an e-Commerce business but not everyone can grow the business to considerable success. There is no doubt that e-Commerce has made life and shopping even more pleasurable and convenient for Singaporeans. With founders ranging from mumpreneurs (mother entrepreneurs) to giant conglomerates, they are a testament that the internet and mobile phones are invaluable great tools for successful e-Commerce ventures. Let’s take a look at the random list of the island nation’s top 10 e-Commerce businesses and what they are about.
CarousellFounded in 2012 by Quek Siu Rui, Lucas Ngoo, and Marcus Tan, Carousell is Singapore’s leading mobile peer-to-peer marketplace that allows people to buy and sell items using their smartphones. To date, over 26 million listings have been generated with over 8 million listings transacted on Carousell. The platform mostly contains listings for fashion, beauty products, gadgets and gears both new and pre-loved. Backed by big name venture capitalists such as Sequoia Capital, 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures, Rakuten Ventures and QuestVC, Carousell is aggressively expanding its business at an accelerated pace globally.
Formerly known as BEDS.sg, FortyTwo was established in 2007 by Naveed Lee as a beds and mattresses online store. From a meagre 60 bed and mattresses products, it has expanded its product range to encompass a vast range of furniture, home decor and lifestyle selections. Today, it is the largest online home furnishing store in Singapore with over 7,000 products in its online store and more than 100,000 visitors per month. It also publishes The FortyTwo magazine monthly, establishing the company as the thought leader in home and decor matters in Singapore.
FoxySalesFrustrated with the lack of choices online for high quality products at affordable prices for busy moms in Southeast Asia, Alexia Sichere decided to start FoxySales in 2011. Together with her business partner, Maelle Terno,t who joined her in 2012, the exclusive flash sales website offers renowned international brands available for seven days of sales at discounts of up to 80%. Product categories include kids fashion, maternity wear, baby items, educational toys, fashion, bags, accessories, shoes and lifestyle items. FoxySales also ships to Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, South-Korea, Vietnam and the USA.
HipVanHipVan was founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur Danny Tan who wanted to bring a vast selection of well-designed, high quality furniture and home decor from interesting designers to Singaporeans. Its online store offers more than 18,000 products from 1,200 brands and designers located worldwide ranging from sofas, chairs, tables, bed frames, mattresses, dinner ware, lighting, bath accessories, and such. HipVan’s own product line includes Levitate, a high-quality pocket spring mattress that costs a third from other mattresses of the same quality.
As one of Asia’s leading online grocery concierge service, HonestBee has a fleet of over 600 shoppers and delivery people to bring household and grocery items right up to their customers’ doorsteps within the hour of their choice. Officially launched in July 2015 by founder Joel Sng, the e-Commerce company has grown from three employees to a 70-strong workforce business. HonestBee holds no inventory of its own. Instead, it provides an alternative income source for its shoppers and has a revenue sharing agreement with its partner merchants. It currently operates in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan.
LazadaEstablished in Singapore by Rocket Internet Group in 2012, e-Commerce giant Lazada Group operates in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, with a sourcing centre in Hong Kong. Customers can find almost anything they fancy at Lazada from electronics, fashion and household items, mostly at significant discounts. With financial backing from key investors including Tesco, Temasek, Rocket Internet and Alibaba, and an aggressive online marketing strategy, Lazada now has 4 million visits to its websites daily and over 14 million fans on its Facebook, the largest following in Southeast Asia.
Established in 2011 by Roger Egan III, Vikram Rupani and Rajesh Lingappa, RedMart is the pioneer of online grocery delivery which has since grown to be a multi-million dollar business. With a mission to provide consumers with a huge selection of products at low prices, shopping at RedMart is made easy through their user-friendly website and mobile app. There are over 25,000 products in stock at their warehouse and they guarantee delivery to their customers’ doorsteps within a two-hour window of their choice.
ShopBack puts a fresh take on online shopping by rewarding customers with cashback rewards when they shop at more than 1,000 online stores including Lazada, Groupon and AirAsia. Launched in Singapore in September 2014 with a presence in Malaysia, the Philippines, India and the United States established within a year, ShopBack receives commission from merchants for every successful transaction and shares this commission with their customers in the form of cashback. Currently six times bigger than its nearest competitor, ShopBack has won multiple awards at the 7th Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) Awards and aims to be the top cashback website in Asia Pacific.
WegoWego is an award-winning travel search engine that helps travellers search and compare results from hundreds of airline, hotel and travel agency websites. Founded in 2005 by Ross Veitch, formerly from Yahoo! and Craig Hewett, formerly from InterContinental Hotels Group, Wego is based in Singapore with regional operations in Dubai, Bangalore and Jakarta. Backed by investors such as Tiger Global Management, Crescent Point Group and SquarePeg Capital, it generates US1.5 billion worth of flight and accommodation booking referrals to travel merchants every month.
Online fashion e-Commerce store, Zalora was launched in 2012 and has a presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It also operates as The Iconic in Australia and New Zealand. The Rocket Internet-backed Zalora offers a vast variety of high-street fashion comprising both international and local brands with products ranging from clothes, shoes, accessories and beauty items for men and women. Zalora became part of the world’s leading online fashion group, The Global Fashion Group (GFG) in 2015, which operates in 27 countries and serving 2.5 billion people.