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PopChill Secures Pre-A+ Round Investment, Officially Launches in Hong Kong as First Overseas Station

econd-hand luxury goods trading platform PopChill Corp announced on October 19th the completion of its Pre-A+ funding round. Investors in this round include ITIC, AVA Angel Fund, 500 Global, Acorn Pacific Ventures, and Darwin Angel Fund. The amount invested in this round is approximately 1.9 million USD, accumulating a total fund of 5 million USD for the team. PopChill indicates that the current operating model has found a market niche in Taiwan. The capital from this round will mainly be used for market expansion in Hong Kong, hoping to replicate the rapid growth experienced in Taiwan over the past year.

Trusted Business Model of Intermediate Authentication, Taiwan's Monthly GMV Exceeds 1 Million USD

Unlike traditional e-commerce platforms where sellers and buyers transact directly, PopChill employs a model of intermediate authentication. Goods are priced and listed by sellers and, once sold, are first sent to the platform for authentication and quality check before being dispatched to the buyer, ensuring a secure transaction for purchasers. The process of authentication and quality check addresses the traditional pain point of online trading for second-hand luxury goods. For product authentication, the platform primarily uses AI technology, assisted by manual verification, achieving an accuracy rate of 99.1%.

PopChill co-founder Andy Kuo stated, "After one year of operation, the current monthly transaction volume in the Taiwanese market has exceeded 1 million USD. The platform's average order value has also reached 700 USD, representing trust from buyers and sellers." The Taiwanese market is currently maintaining at least a 10% growth per month, not only becoming well-known in the luxury circle but also gradually expanding to the general public.

Targeting the Hong Kong Luxury Market and Taiwan-Hong Kong Cross-Border Trade

After finding a niche market in Taiwan, PopChill has also actively sought overseas development. The team began evaluating potential overseas markets a few months ago, choosing Hong Kong as the first stop, not only due to the vigorous supply and demand for luxury goods but also because of its zero-tariff advantage. PopChill has been actively setting up in Hong Kong for the past quarter, including forming a local team and integrating with local logistics. Unlike most Taiwanese e-commerce teams, which initially focus on the Taiwanese market, PopChill has chosen a different path, opting for overseas expansion relatively early in the product’s life cycle.

In addition to promoting local transactions between buyers and sellers, PopChill also sees an opportunity in cross-border transactions between Taiwan and Hong Kong. For general cross-border e-commerce, considering tariffs and shipping costs, the price often lacks competitiveness for lower-value items. However, luxury goods have a very high average order value. PopChill views Taiwan and Hong Kong as a single market, and through the intermediate authentication and quality control mechanism, similarly resolves the obstacle of trust in cross-border transactions between buyers and sellers.

Venture Capital Support Facilitates Faster Scaling

PopChill has currently secured funds totaling 5 million USD, sufficient for 1.5 years of overseas expansion. In addition to targeting the Hong Kong station, there are plans to enter the Singapore and Malaysia markets in 2024. Unlike the typical bilateral platform, which has to solve the supply/demand chicken-and-egg problem anew every time it enters a new market, PopChill can utilize the supply/demand of the existing market through cross-border trade, without starting from scratch.

Andy Kuo stated, "The goal for the Hong Kong PopChill is to replicate the growth curve of Taiwan over the past few months and quickly establish supply and demand locally." PopChill also plans to raise Series A funding after verifying this business model in Hong Kong. By then, the team will have more ample resources to develop other overseas markets and hopes to bring this service to nearby markets such as Southeast Asia.

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