Upmesh wants to build a community-driven discovery app for Southeast Asian live commerce – TechCrunch

Upmesh's founders were working on a game using Twitch's API, when they discovered something about another group livestreamers. Although selling via Facebook Live is gaining popularity in Southeast Asia over the years, many vendors still go through comments and use pen-and-paper for orders. Upmesh was designed to automate the checkout process. Eventually, it hopes to create a platform like Whatnot that allows people to discover live commerce sellers on different social media platforms.
Today, Upmesh announced that it closed a seed round in the amount of $3 million. This was led by Leo Capital with participation from Beenext and iSeed.

Upmesh was founded nine months ago by Shawn Teow and Soh Jan. It is currently used by nearly 300 live commerce merchants from Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. According to the startup, it processes an annualized gross merchandise worth $40 million.

These platforms offer e-commerce functions which automatically capture orders made via livestream comments (for instance white top+1), match it to the correct item in an inventory seller's inventory, and send a checkout link to customers. Upmesh works currently with Facebook Live but will soon add other platforms to help achieve its goal of being platform-agnostic.

There are many other companies that offer order-capturing tools for live commerce, such as CommentSold and Soldie. But Upmeshs founders state that one of the most important distinguishing factors is its ability to tailor its platform to suit the needs of customers and sellers in different Southeast Asian countries.

Chief executive officer Wong said that the live selling climate in Southeast Asia is quite different. It doesn't matter if you enter inventory before or after your life, it is very different between Singapore and the Philippines. Even stock counts are different.

He said that inventory turnaround in Singapore is very quick, so even sellers selling 1,000s of products can only keep stock on the shelves for a short time. Many vendors in the Philippines do live commerce to supplement their brick and mortar shops. They often take inventory from their shops and sell what they have. Wong stated that the software must be tailored to each market.

Upmesh will make use of part of the new funding to expand its operations in Malaysia and the Philippines for at least six more months. It also plans to enter Indonesia and Thailand with the remaining funds. Upmesh plans to expand its workforce, launch marketing campaigns, and produce educational content for salespeople.

Wong points out that although COVID-19 was instrumental in e-commerce adoption, it wasn't the reason for live commerce. It has been livestreaming for many of its clients for around three years. E-commerce is changing the way people interact with it. It is becoming more relation driven. Wong said that our sellers know their buyers first-hand so they can call them by name when they join the livestream. It is actually replacing small business advertising.

Upmeshs has attracted most of its users through word-of mouth. It also serves many fashion live sellers since they are a close-knit group, according to Wong.

Future plans for Upmesh include transforming these communities into new ways to make money. Upmesh will create a platform that sellers and buyers can interact and share live commerce videos via different social media platforms.

Wong said that the U.S. has a number of live commerce platforms such as Whatnot. However, Whatnot is more focused on vintage and collectible items. This market has a strong secondary reseller base. These verticals in the U.S. have the highest amount of community. People who talk to each other online, on YouTube, or offline. They look at those communities and give them a place to call home.

Southeast Asia does not have a comparable collectibles market. However, communities are formed around different kinds of goods like fashion and fresh food. These are the verticals Upmesh hopes to expand its platform.

This is the ultimate goal of live commerce. You can interact with sellers, and then you can move on to more detailed discussions. We direct users' attention to the location of their goods. Since we have all our sellers' inventory, we can help you find out which sellers have red dresses.