Pinkoi.com, a Taipei-based start-up that operates an online marketplace for designers to sell their products via mobile applications and Web sites, yesterday said it plans to strengthen its foothold in nine overseas markets this year.
“This year would be the year for Pinkoi to aggressively expand our presence in overseas markets,” Pinkoi cofounder and chief executive officer Peter Yen (顏君庭) told a news conference.
Pinkoi, founded by three Taiwanese and registered in Hong Kong in August 2011, offers a platform that allows fledgling designers to sell their products, ranging from clothing, accessories and bags to shoes and lifestyle items.
The company showcased about 100,000 listed items from 5,000 designers in October 2013, but this year it has 500,000 products from more than 25,000 designers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand, Pinkoi said.
Over the past four years, 1.94 million items were sold on Pinkoi’s platform and the company said it has helped designers to reach the international stage.
Pinkoi recently completed a second round of fundraising, with US$9 million in capital from Sequoia India and GMO VenturePartners.
The company said it plans to utilize part of the funds for overseas expansion this year, including hiring more employees at its branches in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok and San Francisco, as well as opening a fifth branch in Shanghai.
To further develop the Japanese market, Pinkoi said it has partnered with iichi.com, a Japanese online marketplace for handmade products, to include 20,000 Japanese designers under Pinkoi’s wing.
The company is also to target English-speaking markets in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and Canada with more marketing resources, a Pinkoi public relations official said.
Consumers can use six local currencies for shopping on Pinkoi, while local payment methods in the targeted markets and an international order tracking system are also to be implemented.
In the meantime, Pinkoi plans to introduce a new management system for designers to manage their stock and gain access to data, including sales history and page views, the official said.
“The data could help designers customize marketing activities according to customer location. We will also host online and offline workshops to guide designers in global marketing,” she said.
Pinkoi foresees strong growth from overseas markets and expects revenue from outside Taiwan to jump by 200 percent from last year, the company said, declining to disclose figures.
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