Upmesh intends to create a Southeast Asian live commerce community-driven discovery app
Upmesh’s founders were working on a game using Twitch’s API when they noticed something interesting about another group of livestreamers. Despite the fact that selling via Facebook Live has been growing in popularity in Southeast Asia for years, many vendors still go through their comments afterward and collect orders with pen and paper. Upmesh was founded to automate the checkout process, with the goal of eventually creating a platform similar to Whatnot where users can discover new live commerce sellers across various social media platforms.
Upmesh reported today that it has raised $3 million in a seed round headed by Leo Capital, with participation from Beenext, iSeed, Jonathan Barki, head of merchant financial services at Goto Financial, Abhinay Peddisetty and Chinmay Chauhan of BukuWarung, and Royston Tay and Kwok Yangbin of Zopim.
Wong Zi Yang, Soh Jan, Nhat Vu, and Shawn Teow founded Upmesh nine months ago, and it is already used by almost 300 live commerce businesses in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The business claims to handle $40 million in yearly gross merchandise value.
The platform’s technologies include e-commerce features that automatically record orders left in livestream comments (for example, “white top +1”), match them to the appropriate item in a seller’s inventory, and offer the buyer a purchase link. Upmesh now works with Facebook Live, but it plans to expand to additional platforms in the future in order to become platform-agnostic.
CommentSold, Dibsly, Soldie, and Buy It Live are among the businesses that provide order-capturing solutions for live commerce, but Upmesh’s creators claim one of the platform’s most key differentiators is adapting it to fit the needs of sellers and buyers in different Southeast Asian nations.
“If you look at the live selling atmosphere throughout Southeast Asia, the way individuals gather orders in each nation is extremely different,” said Wong, the company’s CEO. “Whether you key-in your inventory before or after your live is extremely different between Singapore and the Philippines, and even whether individuals keep stock counts is really different.
In Singapore, for example, he added, inventory turnover is generally quite quick, so even vendors with 1,000s of products only maintain goods on the shelf for a short time. Many sellers in the Philippines, on the other hand, use live commerce to augment their brick-and-mortar stores. Their stores’ inventory is frequently stolen, and they sell what they have on hand. Wong explained, “The way the software is constructed has to be extremely tailored to the various markets.”
Upmesh plans to invest a portion of its new funds in the Philippines and Malaysia for at least another six months, but it also wants to expand into Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. The firm intends to expand its workforce and launch new products.
COVID-19 sped up the adoption of e-commerce, but it wasn’t what sparked interest in live commerce, according to Wong. For the last three years, several of its clients have been livestreaming. “People’s attitudes on e-commerce are shifting. Relationships are becoming increasingly important. In fact, our vendors know their purchasers by first name and may address them by name when they join their livestream,” Wong explained. “For small businesses, it’s actually replacing advertising.”
Upmesh has gone to a long way in devising excellent marketing strategies and also in the e-commerce shifting, it has gained a lot of funding that would help it grow faster.My best wishes to them.Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes
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