founder of Upmesh They found something out about another group of livestreamers who were building a game on top of Twitch’s API. Even though selling via Facebook Live has been gaining popularity in Southeast Asia over the years, many sellers are still going through their comments and using pen-and-paper to take orders. Upmesh was created to automate the checkout process and eventually he wants to create a platform similar to WhatsApp where people can discover new live commerce sellers on various social media platforms.
Upmesh today announced that it has closed a $3 million seed round led by Leo Capital, which includes Binext, iCed, Goto Financial Head of Merchant Financial Services Jonathan Barkey, Bukuvarung founders Abhinay Pedisetti and Chinmoy Chauhan, and Zopim K. Founders Royston Tay and Kwok partnered. Yangbin.
Upmesh was launched nine months ago by Wong Zi Yang, Soh Jan, Nhat Vu and Sean Teo, and is now used by nearly 300 live commerce traders in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. The startup says it processes an annual gross merchandise value of $40 million.
The platform’s tools provide e-commerce functions that automatically capture orders placed in livestream comments (e.g. “White Top +1”), match it to the correct items in a seller’s inventory, and send it to the customer at checkout. send link. Upmesh currently works with Facebook Live, but will be adding other platforms with the goal of becoming platform-agnostic.
Other companies that offer order-capturing tools for live commerce include CommentSold, Dibsly, Soldy, and Buy It Live, but Upmesh’s founders say one of its most important differences is that of its sellers in various Southeast Asian countries. and is building its platform to meet the expectations of the customers.
“If you look at the live sales environment in Southeast Asia, the way people are collecting orders between each country is very different,” Chief Executive Officer Wong said. “Between Singapore and the Philippines, whether you key-in your inventory before or after your live is really different, even if people maintain stock counts is really different.”
For example, he said in Singapore, inventory turnaround is usually very rapid, meaning sellers who offer 1,000 items only have stock on the shelf for a short period of time. In the Philippines, however, many vendors do live commerce to complement their brick-and-mortar shops. Inventory is often taken from their stores and they sell what they have. “The way the software is structured has to be heavily adapted to different markets,” Wong said.
Upmesh will use part of his new funding to double down on the Philippines and Malaysia for at least six months, but he also wants to enter Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. The company plans to increase its workforce, launch marketing campaigns, and create educational materials for vendors.
Wong noted that even though COVID-19 led to the adoption of e-commerce, it did not generate interest in live commerce. Many of its customers have been livestreaming for almost three years. “The way people interact with e-commerce is changing. It’s becoming more relationship-driven. In fact, our sellers really know their buyers on a first name basis, so when they go to their join the livestream, they can call them by name,” Wong said. “It’s really replacing advertising for small business.”
So far, most of Upmesh’s user acquisitions have been through word-of-mouth, Wong said, and it serves a lot of Fashion Live sellers, because they’re a close-knit community.
Upmesh’s future plans revolve around transforming those communities into new ways to earn money, creating a platform that allows sellers and buyers to interact with each other and discover live commerce videos on various social media platforms. gives the facility.
“If we look at an interesting comparison, the US has live commerce platforms like WhatsApp, but Whatnot focuses on collectibles and vintage items, things that have a very strong secondary reseller market,” Wong said. “In the US, those verticals have the most communities, people who are talking to each other on eBay, on YouTube or offline, and they look at those communities and give them a home to live in.”
Southeast Asia, on the other hand, does not have a uniform collectibles market, but communities tend to settle around a variety of goods, such as fashion or fresh foods. Those are the types of verticals Upmesh wants to add to his platform.
“It’s the ultimate game for live commerce, which you can explore and interact with different sellers and then once you find your favorite seller, you can go deeper,” Wong said. “We draw users’ attention to where those items are, and since we have a list of all of our vendors, if you want a red dress, we can tell you which sellers have a red dress.”