Choco Up, a global technology and financial services platform offering revenue-based financing and growth solutions for digital merchants and startups, today announced its strategic partnership with Shoplazza, a global leading e-commerce Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. Together, their collaboration will provide quick and accessible business growth funding for Shoplazza's direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, helping businesses to overcome financing challenges commonly encountered by e-commerce merchants.
The first-ever growth funding partner of Shoplazza, Choco Up's embedded revenue-based financing solution with a proprietary AI-driven underwriting model will offer funding through the Shoplazza platform in just a few clicks. This will enable more than 360,000 merchants to grow in gross merchandise value (GMV) through inventory purchases, marketing expenditures, and new market expansions across the globe.
E-commerce merchants often face operational and geographical challenges as they expand
A significant pain point faced by many e-commerce merchants is their heavy reliance on third-party marketplaces such as Amazon and Lazada. These platforms pocket commission fees as high as 45% per transaction, putting pressure on sellers' razor-thin margins. As a result, many e-commerce merchants have adopted the DTC business model, which offers higher margins, more flexibility and a greater Return-On-Investment (ROI). However, this also requires business owners to invest in their website and online store, which can incur substantial costs.
Shoplazza empowers merchants by providing all the tools they need to create their online store, freeing them from third-party marketplace platforms and allowing them to grow their DTC brands globally and independently. Its integrated platform helps businesses manage their online stores, including web infrastructure, product sourcing, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer operations, etc. On top of software-as-a-service, Shoplazza also provides merchants branding, marketing, and other e-commerce-adjacent support.
Another key challenge facing e-commerce businesses is the substantial funding gap among merchants seeking to pivot to the DTC business model to expand and scale globally. E-commerce merchants are frequently unable to secure loans from banks due to a lack of assets with profiles perceived as higher risk. They cannot turn to private equity or venture capital, which tend to prefer investing in disruptive tech sectors - leaving many digital merchants in the cold. The success rate of securing private equity funding can be as low as 0.7%.
Choco Up provides quick and easy growth funding to e-commerce merchants without requiring collateral, equity, or fixed terms. For Shoplazza's DTC e-commerce merchants, there is no need to fill out lengthy applications or go through extensive credit checks to access growth capital. With its proprietary AI and machine learning technology, Choco Up can quickly and reliably conduct the risk assessment for merchants and is able to offer funding in as soon as 48 hours.
As opposed to traditional financing methods, Choco Up's revenue-sharing model - the first of its kind in Asia - allows merchants to easily get growth funding and repay flexibly by sharing a small proportion of their monthly revenue during repayment. Merchants no longer need to worry about overdue payments due to unstable cash flows and are provided with the flexibility and protection against business growth and expansion risks. By extending credit to e-commerce businesses and supporting merchants in their pursuit of global ambitions, Choco Up bridges the gap between e-commerce businesses and growth capital.
"A synergistic convergence of two of Asia's leading tech companies, this embedded financing product partnership between Choco Up and Shoplazza will revolutionize e-commerce funding at scale. Together, the two platforms will provide merchants access to quick and easy business funding to monetize growth opportunities in the dynamic e-commerce landscape and a comprehensive suite of digital-commerce-related support," said Brian Tsang, Choco Up's co-founder and COO. "Teaming up with Shoplazza also enables us to help yet more local businesses expand beyond borders whilst furthering our mission to increase financial inclusion for companies of all sizes and types."
"Through this strategic partnership, Shoplazza will be able to broaden its range of e-commerce-adjacent support for merchants currently using its software and services. In addition, the funding provided by Choco Up can help many DTC merchants realize their global growth potential," said Jesse Huang, the VP of Shoplazza.