Ng Yi Ying of AllSome Fulfilment on Cracking the Cross-Border Logistics Challenge
30 August 2019
Ng Yi Ying, co-founder and CTO of AllSome Fulfillment, was attending Tsinghua University in Beijing when she met her fellow co-founder YiShu Liu, a Chinese national who was Ying’s landlord back then. YiShu Liu now leads AllSome as CEO.
Liu was working for Amazon China and the two quickly bonded as they shared a similar interest in the technology and e-commerce industry.
Born and raised in Malaysia, Ying realized that e-commerce in Southeast Asia was as promising as in China. Based on their observations, however, Ying said that cross-border logistics, especially shipping from China to Southeast Asia was expensive and cost up to to 45% of the product’s price. Moreover, it was commonplace to see approximately 30% of the items received by end-users somehow either mixed up, defective, or damaged during delivery.
“Southeast Asian countries are fragmented in terms of geographic distribution, culture, and preferences. Therefore, the market requires effective localized logistics solutions to cope with the rapid movement of goods while offering the flexibility needed to support all types of use cases,” Ying told KrASIA in an interview.
Aware of the challenges and opportunities, Ying and Liu decided to build a platform that focused on cross-border e-commerce fulfillment.
“E-commerce fulfillment refers to the processes of inventory storage, the ‘pick & pack’ stage, all the way to shipping the parcels to the buyer’s doorstep,” Ying explained. “AllSome provides a wide range of services, from supplier management, offshore quality assurance, secured storage, pick & pack, to door-to-door delivery, and parcel tracking,” she added.
The services provided by AllSome are divided into two features; AllSome Dock that allows online merchants to procure, receive, repack, and resend parcels conveniently and AllSome Track that is a package tracking system for both merchants and buyers to track their orders online and get notifications within a minute.
AllSome provides various benefits for online sellers utilizing their system as they offer a customizable solution that is affordable and efficient.
“AllSome serves like an ‘AirBnB for fulfillment’ where we collaborate with partners who have extra space and transform it into fulfillment hub, which we call ‘virtual warehouses’. The extra space can be a spare warehouse, shop lot, and many more. We train partners to perform the process of receiving goods, storage, pick and pack, and handover to the delivery courier in order to complete the last-mile delivery process.”
“AllSome has many virtual warehouses that enable online sellers to deliver items as fast as four hours, even during peak season,” she continued.
Established in 2018, the young startup recently raised USD 1.94 million in fresh investments led by East Ventures after it graduated from the Y Combinator accelerator’s Winter 2019 class.
With the fresh funding, Ying and Liu are now focusing to expand AllSome’s services to cater to Indonesian customers.
“During the Y Combinator demo day, we met some investors who introduced AllSome to Melisa Irene from East Ventures. After discussions, we believed that EV was the right investor to support our entrance to Indonesia,” Ying said.
The company wants to set up an e-commerce fulfillment network in the country and connect with reliable last-mile logistics players to provide a comprehensive and robust fulfillment solution for modern online sellers.
“AllSome plans to enter to all Southeast Asian countries. We will specifically dive deep into Malaysia and Indonesia while preparing our entrance to Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam.”
Although a young company, Ying is optimistic that AllSome has a promising future due to its reliable solutions and clear business model. She believes that “always thinking about profitability and building the right team” are important keys to help accelerate the company’s growth.
“Finding the right investors to come on board can be time-consuming. Therefore, we always aim for profitability so we’re not in a rush to get new investors and have more time to find the most suitable investors who share our values,” Ying explained.
AllSome Fulfillment has established a network of 250 virtual warehouses in China and Malaysia and the company claims to deliver 120,000 parcels every day.
In the near future, Ying said they will expand AllSome’s warehouse network to further help online sellers scale their fulfillment and logistics capabilities.
“We want to remove barriers to e-commerce so everyone can start their online business. We believe that AllSome will become the largest e-commerce fulfillment service platform across Southeast Asia without owning physical warehouses,” Ying concluded.
Founded by two women, Ying said that AllSome has not experienced any difficulties so far, although logistics is a male-dominated sector.
“We always do strategic thinking thoroughly before execution. For example, we have to admit we can’t physically lift heavy items as much as our male teammates. Therefore, we outsource this kind of work to our male teammates while we focus on providing a scalable solution to our clients,” she said.
The digital industry nowadays is open very everyone, regardless of their gender, according to Ying. However, some people were surprised and amazed when they found out that AllSome was started by two women, which can be annoying but also beneficial sometimes, she said.
“During a startup competition, we once got a response that highlighted founders gender instead of the startup itself like, ‘all-female founders? Nice!’ It felt a bit like it was undermining [what we want to achieve] but we don’t experience it regularly. On the bright side, people remember us more easily!”