citiesocial Secures $2.75 million Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund Investment to Accelerate Expansion of Its Asia Retail Launchpad for Emerging Brands
TAIPEI, JANUARY 5, 2018 — citiesocial, the Taiwan-based E-commerce startup, announced a 2.75 million USD investment led by Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund, with participation from CDIB Capital and existing investor Cherubic Ventures. citiesocial will use this injection to expand its launchpad services, which enable rising brands to grow their market presence and sales in Asia.
Since 2011, citiesocial’s curated E-commerce platform has grown to a customer base of 600,000 in Taiwan and Hong Kong, with plans to expand sales via strategic partnership in China, Korea and Japan in 2018. citiesocial currently manages sales for more than 2,000 brands and over 60,000 products. The company takes an active role in promoting its brands through a network of more than 150 influencers and key media channels in the region. A constant flow of unique items is sourced through a mix of data-driven analysis and human selection.
“We started as just a curated E-commerce platform but quickly found that the brands we were working with needed more”, explained citiesocial CEO, Eric Wang. “The barrier for entry into Asia is high. Without local market knowledge and a dedicated Asia retail team, it’s nearly impossible for these companies to gain meaningful results here. That’s when we had a rethink and began to expand our services”. citiesocial has since transformed itself into a one-stop shop for brands entering Asia.
citiesocial’s expanded services include:
- Localization of brand’s stories across text, images, video and social media.
- Holistic management of brands online and offline sales and marketing through the company’s partnership network.
- Cross border logistics management, covering courier selection, import documentation, local market inspection, customs taxes, local warehousing and shipping.
- Full B2C and B2B customer support across Asia.
- Sales forecasting and inventory planning through data analytics.
Due to a greater inclination to try new products, Asia makes sense as an early target for new brands and startups. According to a 2016 survey by Consumer Technology Association, 59% of Chinese consumers describe themselves as early-adopters of technology, with around 50% found in Indonesia and Malaysia. As a comparison, only around 15% of U.S consumers describe themselves as early adopters. “The demand for new products in Asia is huge, but young brands often lack resources to expand outside of their domestic market.” said Wang.
This enthusiasm is shared by Andrew Lee, Executive Director of the Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund. “We have witnessed a trend of Asian consumers, especially in Mainland China, increasingly seeking out products that let them express their own individuality. This is why we have chosen to partner with citiesocial. They have shown us that they have the grasp and capability to fully address these trends.”
“We see ourselves as a true gateway for these brands”, said Wang, “we provide everything they need to successfully launch in Asia and an English speaking point of contact to keep communication smooth.”
The citiesocial platform helps emerging brands successfully grow their sales and market presence in Asia. We specialize in brand localization, omni-channel sales planning and managed cross-border logistics. We were founded in 2011 and are backed by the Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund, Cherubic Ventures and CDIB Capital.