Singapore – Choco Up, a global technology and financial services platform offering revenue-based financing and growth solutions for digital merchants and startups, has announced its strategic partnership with Shoplazza, a global e-commerce Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. The collaboration will provide quick and accessible business growth funding for Shoplazza’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, helping businesses to overcome financing challenges commonly encountered by e-commerce merchants.

The first-ever growth funding partner of Shoplazza, Choco Up’s embedded revenue-based financing solution with a proprietary AI-driven underwriting model will offer funding through the Shoplazza platform in just a few clicks. This will enable more than 360,000 merchants to grow in gross merchandise value (GMV) through inventory purchases, marketing expenditures, and new market expansions across the globe.

Shoplazza empowers merchants by providing all the tools they need to create their online store, freeing them from third-party marketplace platforms and allowing them to grow their DTC brands globally and independently. Its integrated platform helps businesses manage their online stores, including web infrastructure, product sourcing, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer operations, etc. On top of software-as-a-service, Shoplazza also provides merchants branding, marketing, and other e-commerce-adjacent support.

Choco Up provides quick and easy growth funding to e-commerce merchants without requiring collateral, equity, or fixed terms. For Shoplazza’s DTC e-commerce merchants, there is no need to fill out lengthy applications or go through extensive credit checks to access growth capital. With its proprietary AI and machine learning technology, Choco Up can quickly and reliably conduct the risk assessment for merchants and is able to offer funding in as soon as 48 hours.

A significant pain point faced by many e-commerce merchants is their heavy reliance on third-party marketplaces such as Amazon and Lazada. These platforms pocket commission fees as high as 45% per transaction, putting pressure on sellers’ razor-thin margins. As a result, many e-commerce merchants have adopted the DTC business model, which offers higher margins, more flexibility and a greater Return-On-Investment (ROI). However, this also requires business owners to invest in their website and online store, which can incur substantial costs.

Brian Tsang, Choco Up’s co-founder and COO, said a synergistic convergence of two of Asia’s tech companies embedded financing product partnership between Choco Up and Shoplazza to revolutionize e-commerce funding at scale. Together, the two platforms will provide merchants access to quick and easy business funding to monetize growth opportunities in the dynamic e-commerce landscape and a comprehensive suite of digital-commerce-related support.”

Tsang added, “Teaming up with Shoplazza also enables us to help yet more local businesses expand beyond borders whilst furthering our mission to increase financial inclusion for companies of all sizes and types.”

As opposed to traditional financing methods, Choco Up’s revenue-sharing model – the first of its kind in Asia – allows merchants to easily get growth funding and repay flexibly by sharing a small proportion of their monthly revenue during repayment. Merchants no longer need to worry about overdue payments due to unstable cash flows and are provided with the flexibility and protection against business growth and expansion risks. By extending credit to e-commerce businesses and supporting merchants in their pursuit of global ambitions, Choco Up bridges the gap between e-commerce businesses and growth capital.

Meanwhile, Jesse Huang, the VP of Shoplazza, commented, “Through this strategic partnership, Shoplazza will be able to broaden its range of e-commerce-adjacent support for merchants currently using its software and services. In addition, the funding provided by Choco Up can help many DTC merchants realize their global growth potential.” 

Hong Kong — Choco Up, the Hong Kong-based financing and growth platform, has announced its partnership with fintech company Airwallex to support the future growth of cross-border e-commerce. By combining Airwallex’s proprietary global payments infrastructure with Choco Up’s flexible recurring funding solutions, the collaboration enables a comprehensive and integrated finance solution for e-commerce companies across Asia.

Leveraged by Airwallex, Choco Up is able to offer a one of its kind, turnkey solution covering cross-border payments, collections, and growth funding, and addresses the needs that will enable e-commerce firms of all sizes to grow beyond geographical boundaries without financial constraints.

Kai Wu, CEO of Airwallex Greater China, commented that they are pleased to have been chosen as Choco Up’s partner as they continue to support the growth of e-commerce companies across the region.

“Businesses today require easy-to-use, accessible, safe and cost-efficient payment options and our global financial infrastructure can enable that for businesses like Choco Up. Our scale API solution offers a centralized way to manage cross-border payment complexities, so businesses can easily transact internationally. We look forward to continuing our partnership in APAC and beyond, empowering businesses of all sizes to operate anywhere, anytime,” Wu said. 

Choco Up provides e-commerce companies with flexible funding ranging from US$10,000 to US$10m to accelerate their growth. Choco Up’s proprietary fintech platform allows for a seamless, automated funding process. By connecting the companies’ sales and marketing accounts to their data integration platform, Choco Up can efficiently conduct artificial intelligence-driven risk assessments on applicant companies within hours. The information gathered enables e-commerce companies to see all their business performance data in one place, helping them identify pain points, optimize their businesses, and stay on top of the competition.

Brian Tsang, co-founder and COO of Choco Up, said that the pandemic has propelled even faster growth of e-commerce companies over the past couple of years, many of whom are in search of new funding and payments options to enable more sustained long-term growth regionally/internationally.

“Partnering with Airwallex allows us to build a comprehensive hassle-free payment and funding infrastructure in Asia to empower these businesses to scale across borders without complications and co-create a better future for cross-border e-commerce in Asia,” Tsang said.

Bringing together Airwallex’s global payment technology with Choco Up’s funding platform and analytics tools, this solution will serve as a one-stop-shop for e-commerce companies looking to expand internationally. Airwallex’s global payment software lets e-commerce businesses make cross-border payments in more than 130 currencies at significantly lower costs because of their market-leading foreign exchange rates. In addition, Airwallex Borderless Cards will enable e-commerce merchants to make digital payments across borders that are more secure, transparent, and efficient.

Last January, Airwallex launched its fintech platform in Singapore.

Singapore – Revenue-based financing and growth platform Choco Up has announced a US$600k funding partnership with keyword advertising technology start-up ReverseAds. The funding will be used to accelerate its business growth in APAC, Europe and the United States – including opening the firm’s first office in Australia, as well as ramping up research in product development, and expanding the team to support its accelerating growth.

In addition, the funding will also lead to the incorporation of blockchain technology as part of ReverseAds App’s ecosystem. As a privacy-first keyword advertising platform, ReverseAds uses blockchain to validate that every click is from authentic, potential buyers of clients’ products or services, without Personal Identifiable Information (PII) collection or storage.

Percy Hung, co-founder and CEO at Choco Up, said, “The mission and vision of Choco Up are to help startups scale and grow by providing a better and more flexible funding solution. Our investment allowed ReverseAds to acquire extra capital for growth without losing any equity. As a result, they can continue to grow the company and boost their metrics, while we invest in a startup with immense growth potential.”

ReverseAds’ platform is an evolution of keyword advertising that helps identify a buyer’s journey post-search. It empowers clients with a diversified roadmap of opportunities at a ‘below the surface’ level of search compared to Google Ads, which are linear in nature and have only one opportunity to generate a click and ultimately a conversion.

Meanwhile, Michael Hahn, CEO, and founder at ReverseAds, commented, “We are grateful for Choco Up’s support, which will go a long way to bolster our expansion in APAC, enabling us to open an office in Australia and bring our unique offerings to a new market. This will enable us to fast-track product development and expand our R&D team in order to better serve our growing stable of clients.”