"Before MCO, I often visited local art bazaars and discovered a lot of interesting, high-quality products from small brands and companies."
“Because of the pandemic, the bazaars stalled, making these brands dependent on online sales, usually Facebook and Instagram. Generating online demand was critical, but attracting new customers online is not as easy as it seems, ”said Brian Lowe, founder of Poptron.
He said so in a press release today after Poptron bagged $ 1 million in seed capital from a NASDAQ-listed company.
What does Poptron do for these brands, or micro-brands as they are called?
Poptron was launched on September 4th, 2020 as an online lifestyle marketplace for micro brands to sell their products as they couldn't be in bazaars back then.
Their platform is designed to overcome the weaknesses in running an online business as a micro-brand. This includes customer acquisition, business management and regional growth that they will take care of.
Currently, they have over 100 micro brands with more than 700 kinds of products such as personal care, eco-friendly products, books, food, handicrafts and more.
Their products range from personal care to goodies / Image Credit: Poptron
Brands we wrote about like Cindertoella, Cocova and Summorie jumped on board too.
They look for suitable native lifestyle brands by searching for them on social media or in bazaars according to their Instagram FAQ.
While they are currently only open to brands in Klang Valley, they will soon be reaching out to brands in Penang, Brian's hometown, and Johor as well.
As of now, they are not paying any transaction fees from their merchants, but they will be introducing pay-to-promotion features in the future that can increase a company's visibility on their website.
Secure huge funding and expand quickly
The $ 1 million they have secured will go towards scaling their operations and technology. Additionally, they plan to raise the remaining $ 375,000 through PitchIN in the first quarter of 2021.
"We are also very grateful for the support we have received from our investor and legal advisors, Shin Associates," said Brian in the press release.
The Poptron team / Photo credit: Poptron
Their research found that there are nearly 2.2 million micro-brands worldwide by 2020, with the total available market being $ 7.6 billion.
From that value, the serviceable available market for Poptron is valued at $ 3.8 billion, which is equivalent to 1.5 million of the expected global micro-branding market of 3.79 million in 2025.
Dictionary time: The Total Available Market (TAM) refers to the total demand for a product or service in all segments, all possible substitutes or alternatives and via all potential channels. Serviceable Available Market (SAM) is that part of the total addressable market (TAM) that can actually be reached.
B2B International / Wikipedia
"Poptron aims to achieve a market share of $ 1.6 billion with 600,000 micro-brands generating our global sales in 2025," said Brian in the press release.
Before Poptron, he co-founded the My Performing Arts Agency (myPAA). In an interview with the New Straits Times, Brian revealed that his pitch for Poptron had actually been turned down 42 times, despite recommendations eventually getting him somewhere.
“The Malaysian network moved to Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, the USA and then Europe. Finally, I secured funds from Hong Kong, Singapore and China. "
While Poptron is a relatively new startup, it is already expanding its team and will start operations in Singapore by Q1 2021. According to the schedule on their website, they are also planning to expand into Indonesia this year.
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Selected image source: Brian Lowe, founder of Poptron and their ExtraNotOrdinary Bazaar in collaboration with CIMB