Wholesale Platform Peeba Gets US$4.2M Seed Funding to Empower Asia's Independent Retailers
By reducing inventory risk, Peeba helps independent retailers expand quickly and confidentlyHONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 7 April 2022 - Peeba, the online B2B wholesale platform, has secured US$4.2 million in seed funding to help Asian retailers thrive amid pandemic-induced pressure. The funding round was led by Headline Ventures. Hong Kong-based Peeba will use the funds to deepen its localization efforts across 11 APAC countries, as well as to further build out the machine learning technologies underlying its platform.
Digitizing Asia's Antiquated B2B Wholesale Market
Asia's antiquated B2B retail wholesale market was heavily impacted by pandemic lockdowns. Currently, most independent Asian retailers rely on trade shows and in-person sales visits to source new brands and products. This approach is slow and arduous, involving significant legwork even without the added complication of COVID-19 interrupting in-person meetings.
In response, Peeba has created its B2B wholesale online platform to connect unique brands from around the world – including Asia – with independent retailers across APAC. The company has already onboarded 25,000 retail users (10x growth in the last year), and 1,500 unique brands (3x growth in the last year), with over 100,000 products currently listed on the platform.
With the closing of its seed funding round, Peeba's next steps are to use the funds to deepen localization. The company is expanding its local offices and ramping up hiring to improve local language support across 11 APAC countries and regions, including Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. In addition, Peeba is continuing to improve the platform's underlying tech, which includes automated credit checks and credit risk analysis, and its machine learning-driven recommendations engine.
"Our mission is to transform how independent retailers discover and connect with unique brands, and bring Asia's B2B wholesale retail supply chain into the modern era in the process. Peeba's major value-add is how we reduce inventory risk for retailers, through our 60-day returns policy and "sell first, pay later" model. That allows retailers to quickly adjust to post-pandemic realities with greater confidence," said Jacky Lai, CEO of Peeba.
Asia's Noticeable Lack of B2B Wholesale Tech Infrastructure
As Asia's retailers were forced online amid pandemic-related lockdowns, it became obvious the region had insufficient tech infrastructure to streamline new brand discovery. This near total lack of B2B-focused online wholesale solutions resulted in a highly manual process, meaning inefficiency and risks hamper business growth, innovation, and new channel and/or market entries, even despite the pandemic. In addition, there's the sheer complexity of the fragmented Asian market. There are high barriers to entry and expansion for brands seeking growth in APAC, due to the wide range of languages, currencies, regulatory environments, and business practices across the region.
Peeba has set out to solve all these issues. The platform significantly reduces inventory risk for Asian retailers, who can return unsold goods within 60 days, no questions asked, encouraging them to test and adapt their product offerings with peace of mind. Peeba also offers favorable payment terms to retailers based on an automated in-house credit assessment, meaning retailers can "sell first, pay later." By bringing the wholesale process onto one platform, Peeba is leveling the playing field for Asia's SME/SMB retailers, who individually have low bargaining power to gain access to unique brands. And the platform also lowers barriers to entry and expansion for unique brands seeking growth in Asia, by providing a single platform through which to attract and manage new channels, clients, and orders.
"We digitize new brand discovery, automate the negotiation and client management process, and streamline logistics and shipping by pooling orders. All this contributes to improving operational efficiency and lowering costs for all parties. Retailers love the smooth discovery to ordering process, and higher margins they get by sourcing products through Peeba," said Kevin Cho, Co-founder of Peeba.
"Peeba is bringing about the next stage of global retail innovation. The platform brings both emerging and traditional brands to the world of local retail in Asia. We are excited to become Peeba's partner to help expand their reach into more markets in Asia," said Akio Tanaka, partner & co-founder at Headline VC.
Founded in 2020, Peeba is a fast-growing online B2B wholesale marketplace that provides independent retailers across Asia access to a curated catalog of unique brands, reduced inventory risk, higher operational efficiency, and lower costs. With the vision to help companies "Buy Smart, Sell More," Peeba is set to transform the way Asia's retailers discover and connect with unique brands, with cutting-edge machine learning technology and innovative supply chain management systems.
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