Omnichat, a Hong Kong-based e-commerce messaging platform, has secured a $800k seed round led by AppWorks Ventures and backed by investors such as Aria Group. With the funds, the company expects to double down on customer acquisition in Taiwan and prepares to expand into Singapore and Malaysia in 2021.
Founded in 2018, Omnichat specializes in cross-platform marketing, helping e-commerce stores improve conversion rates by tracking customer behavior, offering guidance to shoppers throughout their online experience, and launching effective retargeting campaigns.
It also offers a customer service system that integrates e-commerce sites with social media platforms such as LINE, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp; WeChat and Telegram will be added to the list this year.
Omnichat also expects to launch an initiative this year for digital marketing companies, agencies, and consultants to gather and develop innovative e-commerce solutions.
The company said e-commerce stores using its services enjoy conversion rates that are three to seven times better than others.
Taiwan as launchpad for startups
According to statistics, Taiwan has an e-commerce market worth $42.7B, two times as large as that of Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia.
With a minimum viable product, co-founder Alan Chan came to Taiwan in 2018 to join Appworks accelerator and explore the Taiwanese market, according to the company's website.
But there are other reasons for him to start developing his business in Taiwan. "There's a great number of e-commerce stores in Taiwan and they're mostly very mature," he said.
"Even small e-commerce businesses attach great importance to marketing indicators such as traffic, data analysis, membership management, and marketing conversion rate." In other words, he believes they're well-positioned to use Omnichat's services.
In 2019, the company has served around 3,600 new customers, over 70% of whom are from Taiwan, including feminine care brand HH Herbal and smartphone case brand TOYSELECT.
Notably, in February, with its direct messaging platform, Omnichat has helped two Taiwanese e-commerce stores monetize the sudden twofold increase in social media messages from customers as the demand for their products soars due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Omnichat believes its story mirrors a trend for Hong Kong-born startups to cross the strait, explore the Taiwan market, and prepare themselves for the bigger Southeast Asia market.