Due to pandemic lockdowns, Asia’s merchants have been compelled to conduct virtual meetings rather than attending in-person trade exhibitions or conferences to find new brands and items over the previous two years. Peeba, a startup, has developed a B2B wholesale web platform that links small shops in Asia with distinctive brands from across the world.
During the pandemic, Peeba claims that Asia’s outmoded B2B wholesale retail sector was limited by a lack of B2B-focused online wholesale solutions and digital infrastructure, which inhibited business development and new market entry. Through its platform, the Hong Kong-based business hopes to assist Asia-based B2B merchants in reducing inventory risk and increasing operational efficiency while lowering expenses.
Headline Asia led a $4.2 million round of early investment for the company. The current round takes the total amount raised to $5.8 million. Peeba CEO Jacky Lai, who has over a decade of experience in technology and supply chain management, told TechCrunch that businesses are struggling to discover new sales channels and partners, particularly in Asia. Due to the huge variation of languages, currencies, regulatory frameworks, and business practices across Asia, according to Peeba, there are substantial obstacles to entrance and expansion for firms seeking development.
Peeba intends to quadruple its personnel and expand local offices with the new money in order to boost local language assistance throughout 11 Asian nations. According to Lai, the company’s localization effort isn’t just about supporting numerous languages; the approach also entails a better knowledge of demand for new items and categories, which means it will be able to correctly identify viable products and brands. According to Kevin Cho, co-founder of Peeba, the firm will also strengthen its machine learning-driven recommendation engine and improve its proprietary technology for its merchants’ automated credit checks.
“When it comes to onboarding SMBs, we use our unique credit risk technology to analyze the potential retailer’s eligibility,” Lai said to TechCrunch. Peeba has a “sell first, pay later” strategy, which means there is no upfront cost to filling their physical or virtual stores with products from Peeba, according to Lai. Peeba established a collaboration with Hong Kong-based Choco Up last week to enable sellers on Peeba’s platform to use the “sell first, pay later” payment option.
Cho explained, “By pooling orders, we digitize new brand discovery, simplify the negotiating and client management process, and streamline logistics and delivery.” “All of this helps to improve operating efficiency and reduce expenses for all parties involved.” Another major expertise, according to Lai, is its lower shipping rates and deeper discounts, which enable worldwide businesses to sample or test their products in a whole new market. Peeba works with international companies from North America, Europe, and Asia to link them with shops in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan.
With over 100,000 goods posted on the site, Peeba has onboarded 25,000 retail users, a 10x increase over the previous year, and 1,500 unique brands, a 3x increase over the previous year. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to big shops with hundreds of brick-and-mortar locations have joined Lai’s platform, according to TechCrunch. Some well-known stores that have ordered via Peeba include DFS Singapore, Slowood in Hong Kong, and Marais in Taiwan, while brands include Memebox, Skin 1004, and Leaders Cosmetics from South Korea, according to Lai.
“Our goal is to revolutionize how independent retailers find and engage with distinctive brands while also bringing Asia’s B2B wholesale retail supply chain into the contemporary era,” Lai added. “Peeba’s main value proposition is how we help merchants avoid inventory risk by offering a 60-day return policy and a’sell first, pay later’ strategy.” This gives merchants more confidence in promptly adapting to post-pandemic circumstances.” “Peeba is ushering forth a new era in global retail innovation.” The platform connects developing and established companies to Asia’s local retail market. Headline VC partner and co-founder Akio Tanaka remarked, “We are thrilled to become Peeba’s partner to assist them to grow their reach into other countries in Asia.”