After raising $860,000 in funding, Philippine startup 1Export finally opened its business in Indonesia. Taking the successful cross-border trade platform to other Southeast Asian countries has always been in the company’s pipeline.
“Part of why we were able to open with very little money at the beginning was because there were already customers availing of our services as soon as we launched,” said Mel Nava, CEO of 1Export. “The Philippines was a relatively challenging market to operate in. For us, if we solve the problems in the Philippines, we can also address the difficulties in more challenging markets.”
1Export is a one-stop, end-to-end platform helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with their exporting needs, particularly focusing on aspects related to compliance, distribution, and logistics. Registered in 2016, 1Export has helped hundreds of SMEs export to 50 countries around the world, ranging from traditional distributors and retailers to online stores.
By late 2019, 1the company was invited to join Indonesia-based accelerator programs, one of which was the Gojek Xcelerate program where they even emerged as the winner.
In Gojek, 1Export co-founder Mel Nava realized just how big the gap was for Halal products in the Philippines. The cost of becoming Halal in the Philippines ranged anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000, whereas in Indonesia, Halal certification only cost about $300 to $1,000.
By replicating the same model they started in the Philippines, 1Export helps SMEs become compliant to the Indonesian market, find distributors, and ship products at a competitive rate. It has partnered with Envio, a digital logistics platform supporting local deliveries and warehousing across Indonesia.
In terms of bringing down the cost of Halal in the Philippines, 1Export has partnered with Muslim organizations in Indonesia.
1Export also utilizes the existing distribution channels it already has in its infrastructure, benefitting Indonesian SMEs. It has currently partnered with marketplace enablers such as Aspenku and Katsitura, helping organize SMEs across different parts of Indonesia. 1Export’s tech offers all-around exporting services such as compliance documentation, product labeling, logistics, and intensive business matching, which helps local businesses identify which of their products fit certain markets and reduces exporting time and costs by up to 80%.
Soon, Indonesian products will be available in over 900 Asian and mainstream market outlets and online stores. Compliance seminars for the United States and Saudi Arabia are being conducted on a regular basis in order for SMEs to understand the importance of shipping properly.