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Saturday, September 18, 2021

SoBanHang receives $1.5M in order to support small Vietnamese shops Online for the first time

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Hai Nam Bui (or “sales book”) was developed by Hai Long Bui, a pair of brothers from Vietnam. It is called SoBanHang, or “sales book”, and it will help small businesses digitize that rely on paper ledgers. This app, which was similar to Khatabook (India) and BukuKas (Indonesia) would be of great benefit. Vietnam was hit by a second COVID-19 epidemic. SoBanHang was working with businesses that are family-owned and employ less than five people. A hackathon was held to develop a product that retailers can use to manage their orders and create online shops. SoBanHang’s “hyperlocal e-commerce platform” launched three months ago. It has since signed up nearly 20,000 merchants. Many of these are selling online for first time.

Today, the company revealed that it raised seed capital of $1.5 million from FEBE Ventures Class 5 and Kevin P. Ryan. Ryan is also the founder of Gilt Groupe and MongoDB.

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Hai Nam Bui, who founded Datamart Solutions and held leadership positions at Lazada before launching SoBanHang. Hai Long Bui spent many years as a manager at Lazada before becoming the chief analyst and chief technology officer at Landers Superstore in Manila, a Philippine supermarket chain.

Hai Nam Bui, a Lazada t-shirt wearing Hai Nam Bui to a grocery shop inspired the idea of SoBanHang. When the shirt was discovered, Hai Nam Bui asked his store owners how they could sell online. He helped the store’s owners register on Shoppe to upload product images and descriptions.

Hai shared his experience with TechCrunch: “After everything was set up, they received their first order. They asked how can we ship the product?” I said that third-party logistics providers would come to pick up the products. They then asked me about the amount. The process was confusing to them and it wasn’t easy for them to give goods to third-party logistic providers.

One of SoBanHang’s clients

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The store owners were also curious about how payment was handled since most e-commerce orders from Vietnam come with cash delivery. Hai said that customers would give cash to riders, which would be given to Shoppe, who in turn would transfer it to Shoppe’s digital wallet.

They asked where was the wallet. Hai said, “How can I withdraw money from a bank? If I don’t already have one?” They are too overwhelmed by the systems.”

Hai started work with his brothers on a digital accounting app for businesses to digitize their operations. But when the epidemic and lockdowns struck, Hai realized it was crucial to allow them to sell online right away. According to SoBanHang, Vietnam has approximately 16 million small- and medium-sized enterprises. Most of these businesses are local and can be reached within just a few kilometers. Businesses on SoBanHang sometimes deliver their goods on foot.

We had our second moment of clarity about retailers. They are actually selling in the neighborhood. Both sellers and buyers are within easy walking distance. Hai said that sellers can connect with buyers to make an order, then the retailers will deliver the goods and take the money directly at their customers’ doorsteps. SoBanHang no longer needs to manage complex payment or logistics systems. Merchants can also use third-party delivery services that do not charge commissions.

SoBanHang clients used to manage their business transactions mostly on paper. They didn’t even have point-of sale systems or laptops, and the app marks the beginning of digitizing their businesses. SoBanHang is available for any retailer, however, the majority of SoBanHang’s users are food and convenience retailers.

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Although the retailers may be small enough to allow customers to message them, SoBanHang streamlines the ordering process and allows them more sales. An online shopfront can also help retailers prepare for COVID-19-related outbreaks, and to maintain good relationships with customers.

For example, SoBanHang has a strategic partnership with Viettel, the largest telecommunications company in Vietnam. They offer discounts SMS for businesses, so that customers see the special offers even though they don’t have SoBanHang app or get push notifications. A text message blast can be sent to customers if they want to get rid of their fresh fish stock.

Hai stated that SoBanHang could help smaller retailers compete against bigger players such as convenience and supermarket chains after lockdown restrictions have been lifted. They have the advantage of having a good relationship with customers. Hai said they are well-versed in their customer base and can wait patiently for customers to visit. They want that new strategy to help them grow their business.

SoBanHang will continue to work on the original bookkeeping apps plans in the future. It plans to offer financial services such as working capital loans, which can be transferred even without having a bank account or digital wallet. The startup plans to continue supporting small retailers selling online in the future.

Publié at Tue 24 August 2021, 05:03.45 +0000

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