Epsilo, an end-to-end e-commerce marketing stack based in both Singapore and Vietnam, announced US$2 million funding led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge.
The company is part of the fourth cohort of Surge, a bi-annual rapid scale-up program for startups in Southeast Asia and India.
Launched in July 2019, Epsilo is a performance marketing platform built specifically on top of e-commerce platforms and designed for the needs of those selling goods at scale. It enables a brand or merchant to optimise their ad spend for keywords, budget and inventory in order to maximise revenue. Epsilo’s software already supports more than 400 online shops that collectively generate over US$280 million of annualised gross merchandising value (GMV).
E-commerce has hit an inflection point across Southeast Asia, with the market projected to cross US$40 billion in 2020. Large regional companies such as Lazada and Shopee, as well as leading domestic players like Tokopedia, have launched advertising solutions on their e-commerce sites, which have the potential to provide very strong return on ad spend. As a result, many brands have started to shift some of their ad budgets away from Google, Facebook and other channels, and onto these e-commerce platforms.
This presents brands with a challenge as the advertising tools built by the e-commerce platforms are still nascent, requiring significant human capital to operate. Epsilo addresses this by offering higher levels of intelligence, automation, and performance, thereby enabling brands to scale up their in-platform performance marketing efforts.
Epsilo, which is present in seven markets across Asia Pacific, changes the way brands and marketers approach online marketing by allowing them to target and convert prospective consumers who are actively browsing e-commerce sites. It enables merchants to unify and automate thousands of campaigns, optimised for keywords and budgets across all major e-commerce platforms into one single dashboard. It also provides real-time inventory tracking to ensure brands are only generating demand for goods they have in stock, and analyzes the effectiveness of campaigns both at user level and SKU level, with the ability to export real-time data to a company’s main intelligence tool.
Epsilo believes the future of performance marketing isn’t focused on just brand awareness and demand generation – it’s marketing at the point of purchase intent. E-commerce traffic is the new retail footfall, and ad inventory on e-commerce platforms are invaluable pools of intent.
“When we founded Epsilo, we wanted to make an impact on driving e-commerce marketing efficiency for brands, marketers and e-commerce merchants. Ninety-seven percent of digital ad dollars are spent on ads that don’t drive a direct revenue return, and the shift of shopping on mega e-commerce platforms and the opening up of ad inventory on those marketplaces have created a new opportunity for performance marketers,” said Epsilo co-founder Quang Tran.
“The Epsilo platform has enabled and accelerated this opportunity. We have seen our vision resonate with the market, which has allowed us to expand rapidly across Southeast Asia in our first year of operation. We are very proud of our team and feel very grateful for our clients and backers who believe in our commitment to change the way brands reach consumers,” Quang Tran added.
Epsilo has worked with over 200 customer brands such as Procter and Gamble, Unilever, L’Oreal and Reckitt Benckiser.
“For us, e-commerce now is our primary focus. This demands a change in our way of working, with increased emphasis on advertising on e-commerce platforms itself. Doing this effectively requires new tools, more automation, and data-driven insights. Right from automating our on-site search optimization on various platforms across SEA to creating a real time visibility of our sales performance, Epsilo has helped transform our ideas into reality” says Jitu B, Regional E-commerce Manager, ASEAN, Reckitt Benckiser.
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“It was great partnering with Epsilo, especially during the pandemic. The Epsilo team was agile in addressing our business needs and the on-platform marketing product helped us tremendously in driving a higher level of ROAS,” says Karen Mak, Media Director, L’Oreal.