Digital transaction platforms have seen a rise in last couple of years and the user base has been increasing every single day. Local merchants also have been using these platforms to ease the processes for their customers though there’s only so much that these platforms provided them. Former Senior Director of PayPal, Anurag Avula identified this roadblock, With his colleagues at PayPal, Yen Ti Lim and Kris Chen, Anurag developed the idea of Shopmatic.
Shopmatic is an international e-commerce platform that helps micro-entrepreneurs sell their products and services online. Back in 2014 Anurag, Yen and Kris identified that the small entrepreneurs not only wanted a payment getaway but also a platform to display their products and services. They realised there is a scope to develop a platform that provides more than just payment options.
Mid-2014, the trio began their primary research by interviewing merchants from all parts of the country. They covered Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as well as certain towns to consolidate the data for their idea. They interviewed almost 300 small entrepreneurs from cities like Jaipur, Coonoor, Jaisalmer, Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Lucknow and others. The research brought them to the conclusion that merchants and customers both were looking for web stores, marketplace, payments, shipping and consulting to help them expand their ventures.
Yen quit PayPal in December 2014 and started working on Shopmatic. He was soon after joined by Anurag and Kris as co-founders in February 2015. They started testing Shopmatic by October 2015 and rolled out a full version in January 2016. Shopmatic allows entrepreneurs to list their business on web stores, marketplaces and social media channels. It also guided them on doing online sale as well as growing their businesses.
Shopmatic is an affordable choice as it just costs Rs 50 per year for the platform. It has been getting bigger by adding approximately 1200 sellers each day. The startup has its presence in India, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Philippines and the UAE and is looking to expand in Southeast Asia as well by end of this year. With other features like Shopmatic Go and Shopmatic Pro, Shopmatic has acquired about 1 lakh customers across all the countries it is present in. The startup has adapted other business models over time but their core values remain the same.