Imminent IPO expected for enabler aCommerce
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Imminent IPO expected for enabler aCommerce

Southeast Asian e-commerce enabler aCommerce aims to launch its initial public offering (IPO) this year while expanding into Vietnam to capture the burgeoning regional online shopping market, expected to be close to US$130 billion in value by 2025.

"We expect the IPO sometime this year," said Paul Srivorakul, aCommerce group chief executive. "We have spent nine years growing the business over five countries in Southeast Asia and invested 800 million baht to invest in technological capability."

The company now has a business presence in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.

It has 168 customers, 13 of which are global top-100 brands. In 2021, it handled 8 million order transactions with an end-to-end merchandise value (EMV) of 10.1 billion baht.

Asean's e-commerce gross merchandise value (GMV) is expected to reach $129.2 billion in 2025 with a compound average growth rate of 19.8% from 2020.

In 2025, e-commerce in the region is expected to account for 21% of total retail, up from 11% in 2020 and 2.1% in 2016.

E-commerce enabler business is expected to experience even more growth as the market is still nascent and there is huge growth potential in the region, Mr Paul said.

The GMV of e-commerce enablers in the region is expected to surpass 300 billion baht in 2022, according to Euromonitor. Mr Paul said aCommerce will make a determined effort to maintain its regional market share of 16.5%.

E-commerce enablers are expected to account for 8.3% of the e-commerce market in six Asean countries this year.

According to Mr Paul, the firm has set its sights on three growth strategies.

The first lies in organic growth where it deepens partnerships and integration with existing brands.

The second involves the exploration of strategic opportunity, such as the expansion into a new market in Asean, such as Vietnam.

The last concerns a software-as-a-service (SaaS) strategy to support market insights and data analytics, to heighten brands' engagement with the company's services.

Additionally, the firm is also gearing up to expand its customer base to new sectors, such as luxury brands.

With travel restrictions due to the pandemic, luxury brands are putting more emphasis on online channels, he said. Brands are shifting to direct-to-customer mode so they can also gain customer insights.

Phensiri Sathianvongnusar, aCommerce's Thailand chief, said the firm will also help brands gain customers through social commerce, such as Facebook, Line Shopping and TikTok.

The firm has recently expanded its services to connect with TikTok in the Indonesian market to tap into young customers there, she noted.

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