BuzzCommerce, a cross-border beauty e-commerce startup is raising up to US$1 million in its latest funding round in order to create its own private label products to serve the demand in China and Japan.
The Chief Executive of BuzzCommerce Shinsuke Wakai did not disclose further details about the participating investors but said he expects to close the funding round by 2017.
“When we started BuzzCommerce, we sold Japan’s cosmetics in Thailand. However, we could see that the Thai market remains small, compared to Japan and China,” Wakai said.
The driver for the decision also rises from last year, when BuzzCommerce presented in the first Embassy Pitch held by Japan Embassy and Thailand’s Science and Technology Ministry.
“After my pitch, the Thai government asked why we don’t develop our own products in Thailand and take them into the global market. Since then, we’ve received support from the Thai government and started to work with local companies to make products for export to Japan and China,” he explained.
Wakai also found Cosmenet – one of Thailand’s largest cosmetics review sites with more than 250,000 registered users. The site offers consultation services regarding import-export, licensing, and local FDA regulations, in addition to providing deep insight into the domestic health and beauty market.
In April 2014, Wakai set up BuzzCommerce in a bid to tap into the beauty e-commerce segment. The startup brings international health and beauty products to consumers in Asia, making it easier for clients to promote and sell popular cosmetics, dietary supplements, and fashion item.
At present, BuzzCommerce, who is a portfolio of East Ventures, is available in five countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Taiwan. Wakai believes that this provides the firm with not only effective marketing tools but also the data to analyze consumer trends and purchasing behavior to develop its own products to meet consumer requirements.
With the new capital, BuzzCommerce will focus on three categories – whitening creams, slimming dietary supplements, and supplements for men. The first product is set to be launched next month.