ZeptoExpress (Zepto), a Malaysian on-demand delivery service, has raised its first undisclosed 7-figure venture capital (VC) fund from Ficus Venture Capital.
This funding comes 4 years after the launch of Zepto in 2017, where co-founder Izzairi Yamin is now looking to expand beyond last mile deliveries. He also hopes to expand Zepto’s coverage to more locations in Malaysia and possibly Vietnam.
Grow independently for 4 years
Ficus Venture Capital (Ficus) is a local private company that markets itself as the first Sharia-compliant VC in the region. The company is focused on growth investments to support early stage tech startups in the ASEAN region.
Prior to this funding, Zepto told Vulcan Post that they had never raised funds except through angel investors to funnel them into the organic growth of the early stage company. In its early days as ZeptoBike, the platform was primarily an on-demand delivery service for transporting small packages, similar to Lalamove or GrabExpress.
Izzairi further explained that despite various offers from other VCs in the past, he could not agree to any of the terms offered to him. “We have done our best to ensure our autonomy and ensure that the business stays afloat without any injection of external funding, focusing only on increasing our revenues and making profits,” he said. he tells.
“But now we think it’s high time for us to get funding and expand our services and offerings beyond what we’ve been doing all these years now with the right valuation and the right price. ” Izzairi is convinced that with the right advice from Ficus, the company can accelerate its growth.
Upgrading to an end-to-end logistics service
We last spoke to Zepto in 2020, when they pivoted to start selling groceries online during MCO 1.0. While the service helped them achieve a sudden surge in revenue during the lockdown, the trend immediately fell after the movement restrictions were lifted.
Although they have discontinued service for the time being, Izzairi shared that this pivot was one of his proudest moments for the company during the pandemic. “We were able to get everything up and running from scratch in 3 days and launch the new service in no time, which drastically increased our revenue tenfold during the pandemic,” he said.
As online shopping has increased again with MCO 3.0 restricting movement, retail stores large and small are having to close and move online. To deliver their products to customers, they need an intermediary to deliver them, and Zepto plans to meet that exact need.
Now, with a 7-figure sum raised, Izzairi plans to set up more mid-sized fulfillment centers and expand Zepto’s coverage to denser areas. These hubs will primarily be a place where the Zepto team will sort and zoning packages for delivery in cities and highways.
“We saw that there was a market demand, and since we were already doing last mile deliveries, we thought why not venture into executions as well? It’s a service that complements our fleet and the entire delivery process, ”explained Izzairi.
Zepto’s goal is now to integrate more SMEs while the growth of e-commerce is once again on an upward trend. This end-to-end service will be offered in KL, Johor, Penang and Ipoh, before expanding into Vietnam.
The team chooses Vietnam because they have already served many Vietnamese companies in Malaysia. More so, last mile delivery in Vietnam has changed dramatically in a positive way over the past few years, according to Izzairi.
Since ZeptoExpress’s business model can be operated easily using the software we have built over the years and does not require a huge team to operate it, we believe Vietnam is a suitable country for us to d ‘intervene. The operating cost there is not high compared to the revenue potential compared to other countries.
Izzairi Yamin, co-founder of ZeptoExpress.
- You can read more about ZeptoExpress here.
- You can read more about Ficus Venture Capital here.
Image Credit Featured: Izzairi Yamin, ZeptoExpress Co-Founder
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