Fast-growing Multi-Channel Commerce Platform development startup company, ChatGenie, reached another milestone by raising additional capital in its recent fundraising campaign as part of Accelerating Asia’s fifth cohort.
The funding it secured will enable ChatGenie to expand its reach in distributing its product to as many merchants as possible. Currently, the pandemic-born startup has provided online payment and automated delivery services to more than 2,500 merchants.
With the increasing demand of online businesses now, the investment will also help ChatGenie to expand its operations by growing its team to cater to more clients and scale its services.
Opportunity in crisis
Founded a month before the pandemic hit the Philippines in 2020, ChatGenie proved its relevance in the market as online businesses thrive with more people setting up online stores. It was included in Forbes Asia’s inaugural “100 to Watch” list because of its relevance in the market today.
To date, over 2,500 transactions have been done on Messenger, GCash and Viber using ChatGenie and a total of P150 million worth of transactions have been done via the store platform. It has partnered with a number of notable brands and digital wallet platforms, such as GCash, PayMaya, and PayMongo.
In November 2021, it introduced its MSME Booster Program which aims to provide micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) up to six months of free online store on Messenger, Instagram, Viber, GCash, and other business tools.
They provided Filipino MSMEs who want to try the features of ChatGenie, a 3-month ChatGenie Pro subscription for free to help them digitize their businesses.
Promising position in the market
For the fifth cohort, Accelerating Asia picked 9 startups in Asia, including the Philippines’ end-to-end store platform ChatGenie, for its first batch of investments from its US$20 million Fund II.
Accelerating Asia is a Singapore-based early-stage venture capital fund that invests in pre-Series A startups from across Southeast and South Asia. Cohort 5 was Accelerating Asia’s most competitive selection to date with 550 applications from 30 countries, of which only 1.5 percent were chosen.
“With retailers across Asia digitising at the fastest rate in history, ChatGenie’s platform provides an easy on ramp to potentially millions of businesses to more easily interact with a larger customer base more efficiently. The company’s executive team is a perfect fit for executing the business model which is proven by its stellar traction to date. Accelerating Asia is excited to provide support and be an early investor into ChatGenie as it expands across the Philippines and regionally,” Accelerating Asia General Partner Craig Bristol Dixon said.
“Accelerating Asia is a great partner for us in the current stage of our business. They provide us with the tools, network, and mentorship that we need to grow fast,” says Ragde Falcis, Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer of ChatGenie.PH.
Among the recent investors of ChatGenie are founders of their own startup – Shahab Shababi (MyKuya), Farouk Meralli (mClinica), Saul Molla (FlowerStore), Andrew Koger (GoodWork.PH), George Padin (Abstract Digital), Ray Refundo, Earvin Ang and Paul Cualteros (Qwikwire), Aldrich Tan (NextPay), and Dominick Danao (Magpie.im).
“I firmly believe companies will inevitably adapt to digitalization and AI. This is where ChatGenie will be very beneficial to them, especially when people are looking for convenience.
Convenience with ChatGenie’s product will be a game-changer for e-commerce here in the Philippines. A platform where it is easy to purchase goods not only will help the startup ecosystem but also the e-commerce ecosystem here in the country. The timing is perfect for ChatGenie,” said Earvin Ang, Co-Founder and President of Global Real Estate Solutions Startup, Aqwire, on why he invested in ChatGenie.
Shabab Shababi, Founder of MyKuya and CEO of Machine Ventures, see’s ChatGenie’s recent success is a source of inspiration for PH startups to come up with innovative solutions to solve existing market problems.
“The pandemic has exposed the areas of our economy that need to be made more resilient. For that we need to simplify the way products and services are offered & make it more efficient. While our venture, MyKuya does that for the services industry, we saw ChatGenie covering this gap for the product sellers in the country. We need a new mindset for this new world and we are excited for ChatGenie to empower every product seller in the country,” said Shabab.
In 2022, ChatGenie hopes to partner with more brands so it could provide its services to businesses that are thriving online.
“So far we have been able to partner with one of the biggest telecommunication companies to upsell our product to its business clients. We are looking for more partnerships like this where we can help their existing merchants grow while increasing the value that our partners provide,” says Falcis.
ChatGenie is now gearing up for its next online demo day on December 16 this year as part of Accelerating Asia’s Accelerator Program. It hopes to lure more investors in its next fundraising campaign.
“We accepted ChatGenie in the INQBATION: Leveling up B2B Startups 6-month program because we saw how much they grew during the incubation period so we were attracted to consider them for investment,” said Ben Alderson, Senior Head of Strategy and Investments of QBO Innovation Hub and Ideaspace Foundation Inc.
“We see ChatGenie continuing to grow customer adoption of their core product, adding additional features that make it easier for their users to operate their MSME businesses and expanding to new markets throughout SEA and potentially even further afield,” he added.