Resellee, a social commerce platform launched in the Philippines, looks to replicate the success of China’s Pinduoduo after securing $1 million in seed funding from Singapore-based digital banking platform Mintech Enterprises and Chinese investment firm Hofan Capital, as announced in November 2020. The startup plans to use this investment to build its technology and fund its expansion to other parts of the ASEAN region.

Resellee was founded in September 2019 by Marc Concio together with the former e-commerce chief of Voyager Innovations, the parent company of the popular payment service PayMaya. The company was created with the goal of helping Filipinos start their own online businesses without the need for a significant capital outlay.

Resellee is designed to provide a community where sellers can find products to sell without having to buy them. It features thousands of items anyone can resell and earn commissions from. In January 2020, Resellee hit a major milestone after closing a partnership deal with the the Philippine government’s Department of Social Welfare and Development for its Sustainable Livelihood Program. It has also forged partnerships with leading retail outlets including 7-Eleven, SM Store, Nestle, and Unilever.

Concio says the company already has around 40,000 resellers, each serving some 20 buyers and earning approximately $100 per month. Resellers join the platform through its mobile app.

Resellee features a wide variety of products, from electronic items to apparel. However, its current focus is on grocery deliveries in an apparent response to the shift in consumer needs and attitudes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Resellee also serves as a good platform for selling prepaid credits for mobile services and online games. It offers monthly rebates for prepaid load purchases, which makes it an excellent alternative to the numerous prepaid loading businesses in the Philippines.

Moreover, the platform has a section called Resellee Fresh, which claims to offer the lowest prices for local farm produce. This part of the Resellee business is designed not only to make fresh farm products accessible to more consumers at affordable prices. It also seeks to help local farmers in finding buyers for their products.

Concio admits that he derives inspiration from the success of Pinduoduo in China. Pinduoduo is now the second biggest e-commerce company in the second biggest economy in the world, and it managed to achieve this in less than five years after it was launched. It was this e-commerce platform that piqued his interest in pursuing a social commerce venture.

The “zero puhunan” (no capital outlay) model of Resellee is also based on Pinduoduo’s model. Concio believes that this model can be similarly successful in the Philippines, including the group buying scheme which takes advantage of existing social networks. In China, Pinduoduo worked well with WeChat. Resellee aims to achieve the same success with Facebook and other popular social networks used by Filipinos.

Concio has no qualms admitting that he hopes for Resellee to become Southeast Asia’s version of Pinduoduo. “Resellee hopes to learn from this and be the Pinduoduo of Southeast Asia by pioneering social e-commerce and group buying in the Philippines, then expanding to Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia, where social commerce has not started yet or is still in its early stage,” Concio has said.

Resellee’s CEO is optimistic that social commerce is well-positioned to take off in the Philippines. He cites the amount of time spent by Filipinos on social media and the young median age of social media users in the Philippines as well as in the rest of Asia. Younger people are usually the ones who are more engaged in online shopping, Concio says.

He also points out the desire of many to start their own businesses or earn some side income especially during the hard times as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the Philippine economy. Resellee’s zero capital scheme, Concio believes, is an attractive proposition to anyone who wants to run a business online. Resellee also arranges the logistics aspect so resellers who sign up with the platform do not have to worry about how to ship the products they are selling.

Resellee still has a long way to go to match the popularity and reach of established e-commerce platforms in the country and region such as Shopee and Lazada. However, the startup’s CEO is confident in Resellee’s competitiveness, especially since it is not just another enterprising venture. The company also has a project aimed at building an online hub for aggregating supply information from farmer’s cooperatives. More than generating revenues, Resellee focuses on helping people make money, concludes Concio.

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