Mercular, the hobby lifestyle vertical shopping platform based from Thailand, has raised its Series A investment amounting to approximately $3 million. The funding round was led by Kairous Capital with participation from Cyber Agent, 500 Startups (through its 500 Tuk Tuks fund) and the Government Savings Bank through SMEs Private Equity Trust #1 (N-Vest Venture) and SMEs Private Equity Trust #3 (Premier Advisory Group). Mercular is considered Thailand’s first startup in the e-commerce space to successfully attract funding from foreign investors.

The fresh capital will help fuel Mercular’s goal to build a fully integrated value chain and community around the hobby lifestyle category, particularly through building its hobby lifestyle ecosystem. The company looks to further improving on its platform to make it even more user-friendly for the hobbyist community, as well as expand to more product categories, including collectibles, gaming gear, cameras, and other gadgets accessories .

Mercular is specifically targeting users in the younger demographic who are into the hobby lifestyle. It started its business with audio gadgets, and it is now ranked number 1 among all Thailand’s e-commerce retailers for this category. The company is currently expanding into several other categories, targeting to be the go-to-destination in the hobbyist space. This year, Mercular targets to gain significant market share in gaming gear.

The hobby lifestyle ecosystem is relatively new, but the market has been growing very fast in the past four years. Products that contributed the most growth for this market include wireless headphones, games, computers, mobile phones, console, camera, figure models as collectibles, and sporting and recreational goods. These products are traditionally sold at electronics specialty stores, and Mercular plans to fill the huge market potential and gap, since there is no e-commerce player specializing on this space.

The company is targeting a younger demographic, and it seeks to distinguish itself from other e-commerce players by providing better value to the hobbyist community, including improvements on the pre-sales process (content and reviews), as well as post-sales services, such as handling the entire claim process for customers.

“The demand of hobbies products are rising rapidly since the millennials and younger generations are looking for alternatives in their recreation. While the typical e-commerce platform in SEA regions focus mainly on price competition. Mercular believes consumers (Hobbyist) are looking for more than just price, rather tailored made experiences that fulfilled their sophisticated in their hobbies lifestyle,” said Woragun, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mercular.

Joseph Lee, Managing Partner at Kairous Capital, said the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in many industries, and that e-commerce will also increasingly address the demand of niche and sophisticated markets: “While we believe that e-commerce market places will continue to be the mainstream players, we also see consumers turning sophisticated and demanding more by transacting via vertical e-commerce and social commerce platform.  Emphasizing on its unique value proposition, we believe Mercular is positioned diligently to capitalize on the next wave of e-commerce in Thailand and ultimately in the ASEAN region.”

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