Singaporean ecommerce website EZBuy has raised US$17.6 million in a pre-series C round, the company announced today. The funding comes from new and existing investors with a strong presence in China, including Ventech, Sky9, IDG, Vision Knight Capital, and China Growth Capital.
EZBuy helps users shop on online marketplaces based in overseas markets like China, the US, Taiwan, and Korea. Websites like EZBuy act as middlemen, contacting sellers on those platforms on behalf of its users to buy the items and have them shipped, imported, and delivered to the buyer.
It’s an incarnation of the concept of daigou, meaning “to buy on behalf of,” a very popular practice with Chinese ecommerce customers looking for items outside of China. EZBuy itself used to be known as 65daigou.
The startup plans to use the funding to “offer quick and more reliable modes of localized services to customers” and expand to more countries within and outside Southeast Asia.
Most of the investors in this round came in for EZBuy’s US$20 million series B fundraise in early 2016.
Late last year, EZBuy was in the headlines because of a spat with Alibaba-owned marketplace Taobao. The Chinese company accused EZBuy of acting like a “scalper,” creating multiple accounts to buy from its marketplace. As a result, EZBuy no longer had access to Taobao’s marketplace.
This led to a significant backlog of orders from EZBuy users, especially since this happened so close to Singles Day, China’s largest online shopping event that has spread to other Asian countries as well. In December, EZBuy claimed all the delayed orders had been fulfilled and announced it would temporarily stop offering its Taobao service.
The company said it continued working with other Chinese marketplaces like JD and Mogujie.
Taobao is a popular destination for many Singaporeans, who shop on it through third-party services like EZBuy and rival startups SGShop and Oops. Lazada, which was acquired by Alibaba, also started offering access to Taobao through its marketplace last year.
This is a developing story. Check back for details.
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