Retail in Asia

In Trends

Singapore tech start up powers Latin American marketplace

Singaporean tech startup Arcadier is buildin an e-trading platform for Panama-based Canalzon, envisioned to be the largest online marketplace for Central America.

The Canalzon marketplace went live 9 February 2015, carrying over 2,000 products from 30 well-known merchants in industries ranging from retail, electronics, sports, music, beauty to fashion.

This number is expected to go beyond 50,000 products and 100 branded merchants in the next few months. By 2016, Canalzon expects to carry more than a million products and expand to markets in Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica and El Salvador.

Arcadier provides a technology platform for partners who want to develop online marketplaces, much like Lazada or Rakuten in Asia. The start-up company uses standardized technology to offer their partners a quick turnaround in development and at lower costs.

Hilt Tatum, a Panama based shareholder and director of Arcadier. said the Latin America market, which includes Central America, currently has about 330 million Internet users and accounts for 54 percent of the region’s population.

This market is forecast to grow to about 380 million in the next three years, said Hilt Tatum, a Panama based shareholder and director of Arcadier.

“Panama offers Arcadier untapped potential and huge market in both Central and Latin America, where e-commerce is fast taking off, helped in large part by the improving technology infrastructure and changes in government legislation that is spurring Internet entrepreneurship,” he said.

Arcadier was founded in December 2012 by Australians Dinuke Ranasinghe (CEO) and Paul Cascun (CTO) and Singaporean Kenneth Low (COO).

Dinuke was PayPal’s first employee in the region and previously PayPal’s Head of Products and Strategy for Asia Pacific; Paul founded the first ISP in Australia and started XIT, an IT consulting firm in Australia which he eventually sold; and Kenneth was previously PayPal’s Head of Alliance and Strategy for the region and also regional Head of Strategy and Corporate Development for the InterContinental Hotels Group.

Among ome of Arcadier’s investors include Hilt Tatum, currently CEO of IPoint Capital Partners in Panama, and David Ye, founder and CEO of rong360, a China-based online private lending search portal, which David launched in 2011.

“Over the next six months, we’re planning on launching solutions with partners in the F&B, retail, property and industrial B2B sectors across the region,” Ranasinghe said.