TrustedCompany.com announced today that it has secured US$1M for its Series A financing round, in order to continue its growth on the way to become the review authority in emerging markets in SEA and India. The company aims to bridge the trust gap between online companies and consumers in emerging markets and starts to expand into Africa and Brazil.
This round, led by German TENGELMANN ventures and co-invested by 500 Startups and Asia Venture Group (AVG), comes ten months after the initial seed investment from AVG. Over the first half of the year TrustedCompany.com has grown to 20 employees located in Hong Kong and Malaysia. “Building on this momentum, we will use the financing to continue expanding our presence as review platform in SEA and India, accelerate product innovation, grow sales and marketing resources across the region and start into Africa and Brazil”, says TrustedCompany.com Co-Founder and Managing Director Frederik Krass.
“We have seen great adaptation to write and use reviews in the markets, but will further increase our efforts in educating consumers about the power of online reviews” , Knuth, Co-Founder and MD, adds. TrustedCompany.com aims to become the leading consumer review platform for online consumers in emerging markets. “We want to increase the transparency in the market and help consumers differentiate between the good merchants and the bad merchants. This also helps good merchant to differentiate themselves and is a powerful word-of-mouth marketing tool, increasing revenues for online businesses” states Knuth.
The financing round builds on an exceptional development for TrustedCompany.com which saw great traction in terms of usage and sales with clients such as Lenskart in India, iMoney.my or myiMart in Malaysia, Pricearea in Indonesia or Printi and HTS Latarias in Brazil.”Amazon, Trip Advisor, Agoda, eBay, Yelp… Some of the most prevalent internet companies of our time were built on providing reviews to online shoppers. TrustedCompany.com does this for the rest of the internet. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a team this capable go after a market opportunity this huge”, said Khailee Ng from 500 Startups.
“Having the support of TENGELMANN ventures will help us execute our vision even more rapidly and globally and with the local experience, perspective and relationships of 500 Startups, we will be able to further grow our local trust in SEA” mentions Krass.
TrustedCompany.com is an open review community that helps emerging markers consumers identify trustworthy and reliable online merchants. The Hong Kong and Malaysia-based company offers online merchants a comprehensive SaaS toolset to make more money and increase Marketing ROI by displaying authentic and third-party validated customer reviews. It was founded in September 2013 by German co-founders Frederik Krass, Philip Knuth and Malaysian Adam Leow Kah Thong with the support of Asia Venture Group.
About Asia Venture Group
Asia Venture Group Sdn. Bhd. is a hands-on, private internet holding company that focuses on long-term value creation in South East Asian online markets. It was founded by German serial entrepreneur Tim Marbach beginning of 2013 and operates across South East Asia with headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
About TENGELMANN ventures
Since late 2009 Tengelmann-Ventures GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of the Tengelmann Group, has acquired shares in young, dynamic companies under the motto “Funding your ideas”. Today, the company is already among the most important start-up companies in Germany. The focus of these investments is on e- commerce and social commerce concepts, market places, as well as on internet and web 2.0 technologies. Moreover, Tengelmann-Ventures GmbH not only offers financing expertise for start-ups, but also and management know-how and a useful infrastructure.
About 500 Startups
500 Startups is an early-stage seed fund and incubator program located in Mountain View, CA. They invest primarily in consumer & SMB internet startups, and related web infrastructure services. Their initial investment size is typically $25K-$250K. Selected areas of interest include financial services & e-commerce, search/social/mobile platforms, personal & business productivity, education & language, family & healthcare and web infrastructure.