Zilingo, a Singapore-based fashion and lifestyle e-marketplace startup, is set to enter the Bangladesh market as part of its plan to become a key player in the fashion supply chain in Asia and other parts of the world.
The company has applied to the government and is now waiting for the nod, said Ankiti Bose, co-founder and chief executive officer of the business-to-business (B2B) commerce platform, in a statement yesterday.
“What we see is a huge market with immense potential to enter the global front further. The prevailing ready-made garments sector in Bangladesh already has a notable footprint globally and we believe that we can complement further growth,” she said. Zilingo started as a fashion and lifestyle marketplace in 2015 by Bose and Dhruv Kapoor. While dealing with thousands of small sellers on their platforms, the founders saw their plight first hand, according to the statement.
These businesses were not being able to improve their margins or grow any further due to a lack of access to technology and capital, while the big international brands kept growing aggressively. A small merchant neither has the volume to source as cheaply as large conglomerates nor do they have enough influence to get the best rates from service providers or warehouses.
“We are interested to even work with the smallest manufacturers. Any manufacturer which can produce 2,000 units per item can be our potential partner. This, we believe, can be a win-win situation for everybody,” Bose said. Currently, there are 27,000 merchants listed on the platform, which has offices in eight cities and employs more than 400 people.
Recently, the platform has raised $226 million bringing the total funds raised to $308 million. The investors include Sequoia Capital, Temasek, Burda Principal Investments, Sofina and Singapore investment fund EDBI.
Apart from Bangladesh, Zilingo is set to open offices in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. It plans to make foray into the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia by this year. Zilingo says the entry into the Bangladesh market as well as other key Asian markets is part of its growth strategy to expand its footprint.