Accelerating Asia, a Singapore-based early stage venture capital, has shortlisted ChatGenie for its US$20 million Fund II campaign.
The multi-channel commerce platform development startup, co-founded by Radge Falcis and Nico Nicomedes Jr., is one of nine initial startups included in Accelerating Asia’s fifth cohort, which was announced in November 2021.
A total of 550 funding applications from 30 countries were reviewed by the venture capitalist, making Cohort 5 its most competitive selection to date. The latest batch of startups, which also includes Myanmar-based health SaaS platform provider Z-Waka and Malaysian online personal styling specialist Ellegra, are slated to receive as much as US$250,000 as part of the Fund II investment.
One of the main reasons why Accelerating Asia invested in ChatGenie was because of its sound revenue model. The startup prides itself on being an online store creator and according to the VC, its free subscription option allows merchants to test the platform and set up online stores via social media apps. Over time, merchants are encouraged to move on to more expensive subscriptions upon seeing the product value. While initial efforts were focused on helping merchants engage in sales through Messenger, ChatGenie now eases the process of opening an Instagram shop.
The VC also touted the startup’s ability to solve market pain points hindering merchants from running a successful online business. ChatGenie was lauded for being able to provide a smooth online shopping experience for customers and managing online ordering from every platform and payment collections on behalf of merchants.
Another strong point highlighted by Accelerating Asia is ChatGenie’s impressive traction since its inception, having recorded over US$3 million in gross merchandise sales and over 70,000 unique transactions.
ChatGenie intends to use the new capital to further its product distribution and team expansion efforts in a bid to cater to more clients and scale its services. Currently, the startup facilitates online sales in the Philippines for more than 2,500 merchants ranging from big brands such as Globe and Goldilocks to mom-and-pop stores embracing digital transformation.
In a Facebook post, Falcis welcomed the investment by Accelerating Asia, noting its importance in building the non-technological part of ChatGenie, specifically its internal sales, account management, onboarding and activation, community management, and content teams.
The additional investment adds to pre-seed funding that ChatGenie received from the founders of Filipino startups MyKuya, mClinica, FlowerStore, GoodWork.PH, Abstract Digital, Qwikwire, NextPay, and Magpie.im.