RateX, a Singapore-based payments startup has raised S$3million (US$2.3million) in a pre-series A funding round – among the largest pre-series A funding rounds to date in Southeast Asia.
Participating investors include Alpha JWC Ventures, Insignia Ventures Partners, alongside other various strategic angel investors.
RateX is a free browser extension that automatically provides shoppers with the lowest exchange rate at no transaction fee for overseas purchases through e-commerce platforms. It also allows users to automatically apply coupon codes of their choice upon checkout. RateX seamlessly integrates with some of the largest globally recognized e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, TaoBao, Lazada, Singapore Airlines, AirAsia, Expedia, among others. It also works closely with the likes of payment processors Adyen and Alipay. Till date, RateX’s users have saved over S$264,000 (US$200,000) through lowered exchange rates and transaction fees, and S$396,000 (US$300,000) through discount coupons offered at checkout via RateX.
Jake Goh, CEO and Co-Founder of RateX said, “Our vision is a simple one - at a time when online commerce is booming, we want shoppers to pay less for their overseas purchases. We are doing this by solving ecommerce and financial inefficiencies inherent in cross-border commerce. These include mark-ups around transaction fees, foreign exchange rates, as well as a lack of consumer awareness around available discounts and promotions.”
According to research firm Frost & Sullivan, Southeast Asia is the world’s fastest-growing internet market. Gross merchandise value of ecommerce will rise to US$65.5 billion by 2021, up from US$14.3 billion in 2016. Meanwhile, some 89 percent of shoppers in Singapore shop online on websites outside of Singapore; the average online shopper in Singapore spends around US$1,066 each year on e-commerce transactions.
“Our users can now save up to twenty percent on their purchases from their favorite websites. We are achieving this while bringing affiliate sales to our merchant partners; a win-win situation for all. By doing this, we hope to enhance global cross-border commerce while helping Asian consumers get a great deal,” added Jake.
RateX is also supported by a host of industry-leading advisors, including Yinglan Tan, the current Founding Managing Director of Insignia Ventures Partners and Chandra Tjan, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Alpha JWC Ventures. Prior to founding Insignia Ventures Partners, Yinglan was Sequoia Capital’s first hire and Venture Partner in Southeast Asia.
“The RateX leadership and staff have proven themselves to be more than capable of scaling their e-commerce payment solutions across Singapore and Southeast Asia. They have a strong roadmap on creating an e-commerce ecosystem in the SEA region and we are glad to partner them on this journey,” said Yinglan Tan, Founding Managing Partner and CEO of Insignia Venture Partners.
Likewise, Chandra Tjan also commented, “I was super impressed with the RateX founders in my first meeting - the team consists of first class tech entrepreneurs. They are solving a real FX issue, and online shoppers are able to save 5-ish% on FX every time they check out via the RateX extension. The market potential is huge, as the global cross border e-commerce is expected to reach US$900 billion of GMV by year 2020.”
RateX is currently available on Google Chrome and Firefox desktop browsers and is operational for users in Singapore. Their mobile app (RateS) have also recently been launched. Funding will be used to drive the launch of RateX’s mobile app in Singapore and Taiwan in March 2018, as well as RateX’s overseas expansion into Taiwan and Indonesia in 2018. Both markets offer tremendous potential for e-commerce to flourish with high penetration of internet users and consumer populations familiar with online shopping.