NY based Bindo raises USD 1.80 million for Asian expansion

In order to expand its business operations in Asia, New York based Online to Offline retail platform, Bindo has raised USD 1.80 million in Seed round, as per Wall Street Journal reports. The investment was led by Vayner/RSE, Metamorphic Ventures, East Ventures and Gary Vaynerchuk. After rapid growth in the U.S. the company plans to move towards Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.

 iamWire Take: India is seeing a surge in online retailers going offline – Healthkart, Firstcry, Caratlane to name a few. It is becoming evident that omni-channel is the way to go. Most of the existing POS terminals used in offline stores take care of the related inventory, and there’s a different system to manage the orders online. In order to have a seamless experience in internal operations and customer servicing, technology like Bindo becomes necessary.

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Launched in 2013, it is a venture of Co-Founders Jason Ngan, JoMing Au and Brad Lauster. Bindo, an E-commerce platform bring local stores online, index inventory and facilitates sale of real-time inventory via POS integration. (As mentioned in CrunchBase)

TechCrunch says: Bindo says it currently has 180,000 customers who have purchased an item in Manhattan, its test market. Since its beta launch there in March 2013, the startup has processed $40 million in orders. The company plans to gradually roll out their system into new cities and will soon launch Bindo Marketplace, an app that lets all merchants using Bindo’s point-of-sale system sell their merchandise online, allowing customers to have items delivered from local stores or check what’s in stock.

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The company’s competitors include Square, Vend, Lightspeed, and Shopkeep, but Bindo say it wants to differentiate by creating “hyperlocal” marketplaces and creating an online-to-offline network.  Vice president of business development Benedict Wong says the startup plans to convince merchants to use their point-of-sale system by showing them data from their beta launch that demonstrates stores can increase their sales by 20% to 30%. Another differentiator is Bindo Marketplace, which Wong says is much more comprehensive than Square Market.

“Customers can shop from stores that are close to them instead of Amazon. We’re bringing local stores online and letting people buy from places that they are familiar with but usually can’t shop from online,” says Wong. “

More from WSJ: “The decision to come to Asia was easy,” says Jason Ngan, co-founder of Bindo and a native of Hong Kong. “Asia e-commerce will exceed half a trillion U.S. dollars by year end. There’s a transformation from a ‘savings’ mentality to a ‘consumer’ mentality, and a rapidly growing middle class that’s becoming more mobile and tech-savvy not to mention a huge talent pool of developers.”

Earlier this year, the startup opened offices in Hong Kong and is now expanding into Singapore. In April, Bindo competed in Startup Arena Singapore 2014, a pitching contest for startups, and took home first place and US$10,000.

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