Thanks to cross-border e-commerce platforms, China remains a major exporter of consumer goods for the world in the era of online shopping. It’s not just marketplaces like Amazon and AliExpress that allow Chinese companies to sell abroad. Behind the scenes, a group of startups creates the software that makes it easier for exporters to figure out what to sell and how to sell.
Dianxiaomi, loosely translated as ‘shopper assistant’, is one of these e-commerce SaaS providers. The company just raised $110 million in a Series D funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund II and Sequoia Capital China. Other prominent investors, including Tiger Global Management, GGV Capital and Huaxing Growth Capital, also participated.
The financing will increase the company’s total investment to $210 million in 2022 alone.
Dianxiaomi is strategically located in Shenzhen, the capital of export-oriented e-commerce business in China. The city where Huawei, Tencent and DJI live is also known as the home of most of the Amazon sellers in the world.
Dianxiaomi started with a handy tool that allowed sellers to list their products already sold on Taobao, Alibaba’s marketplace for Chinese consumers, on Wish with “one click”. said the founder and CEO Du Jianyin, a former R&D engineer at Baidu, in an interview.
From there, Dianxiaomi went on to create a suite of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for Chinese suppliers on Wish, Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, Shopee, Lazada, and the like. The target users are small and medium-sized merchants with 5,000 orders per day or less, the company told londonbusinessblog.com.
The SaaS provider itself is also expanding abroad. It has launched localized ERP products for merchants in Southeast Asia and Latin America respectively. Globally, it claims to serve 1.5 million users and partners with some 50 ecommerce platforms. In Southeast Asia, it has amassed 430,000 users selling in the booming region.
The company plans to open offices in Indonesia, Malaysia and the UK where it aims to build a team of 20-100 employees to handle customer service, operations and other duties in each country.
Countries in Southeast Asia are an obvious choice for many Chinese entrepreneurs, who see opportunities in the region similar to those in their home market a decade ago.
“With its rapid growth rate, [Southeast Asia] is a bit like China from ten years ago. Second, the region is culturally similar to a large ethnic Chinese population, which can help promote the products. And third, orders from Southeast Asia are growing at more than 100% per year,” the CEO noted in the interview.
The financing for Dianxiaomi is one of the few deals SoftBank has made this year in China, which has long been a key destination for the investment powerhouse. But amid a slowing economy and regulatory uncertainties, the company has said last year that it would take a more “cautious” approach to supporting Chinese startups.
In January, SoftBank and Sequoia Capital China injected financing in a similar venture called Shoplazza, a Canada-Shenzhen-based company that provides direct-to-consumer brands with online store management tools.