iPrice Group bags US$10m in funding, aims to become key eCommerce enabler for super apps

Product discovery and comparison platform iPrice Group has bagged US$10 million in its series B funding. In a statement to A+M, a spokesperson said the funds will go towards improving its current platform, raising its visibility through search engines, as well as expanding its partnerships with super apps to provide more eCommerce content for its users. This is in line with company's aim to become the prime gateway for online shoppers in Southeast Asia, as well as a key eCommerce enabler for super apps. 

The spokesperson also said one of iPrice's key focus area will be on non-English markets such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand. The company identified these countries to have huge potential for growth, mainly due to the high volume of online shoppers. He added that iPrice is also looking to enrich its services and relationship with users with current partners such as LINE, Home Credit, and many others in each individual market.

David Chmelar, iPrice Group CEO and co-founder, said moving forward, the company needs to have direct engagement with users on the platform, continue its strong presence on Google, and enable its partners across the different countries to offer eCommerce content for its audience. Chmelar specified partners as media platforms, social media apps, and emerging super apps.

iPrice's latest funding sees investors from ACA Investments, Daiwa PI Partners, as well as returning investors LINE Ventures and Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund. Tomohiro Fujita, chief investment officer of ACA Investments, said it sees huge potential in the eCommerce industry in Southeast Asia, adding that iPrice will play a vital role in the industry development with its "comprehensive coverage" of markets across the region. Hirofumi Imamura, director of Daiwa PI Partners, said iPrice's potential to grow, coupled with its strong management and deep understanding of consumer behaviour in the SEA, gave the Japanese firm the confidence to invest in the company. He added that iPrice currently works with super apps LINE and Home Credit. Additionally, iPrice has also moved into a new office in Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur on 2 March.

Founded in 2014, iPrice started as one-stop shop to offer online shoppers a wide selection of products and brands that are provided by various partners across Southeast Asia. It currently operates in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. According to iPrice, the platform has approximately 1.5 billion products available from more than 1,500 merchant partners. A quick check on the website shows that its merchant partners include Lazada, Shopee, Amazon, tokopedia, and JD Central.

In September 2018, iPrice bagged an investment from South Korean internet content service company Naver Corp.This came a few months after LINE Ventures, Naver's venture capital arm, raised a round of funding with participation from Cento Ventures and Venturra. Additionally, iPrice appointed Paul Brown-Kenyon as its new president and COO in 2019. Chmelar said then that Brown-Kenyon will be the key catalyst in the company's journey towards becoming more agile, mature, as well as establishing top class agile and management practices. 

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