By Ram Superable Agustin
E-commerce platform xpanse Technologies — which aims to help businesses expand online — has a relatively good chance of reaching unicorn status.
In finance parlance, a unicorn is “a privately held startup company that reaches a market value of $1 billion.”
Xpanse hopes to seamlessly bridge the selling, ordering, and shipping process of micro, small, and medium (MSMEs) enterprises through its proprietary automated shipping platform called noah.
Noah is a cloud-based order management and logistics platform analyzes order data and acts as a shipping aggregator. This has been instrumental in attracting both local and overseas investors. xpanse CEO Josh Supan points out that noah is pivotal in their quest to become the country’s first tech unicorn company. .
“Imagine multiple websites all responding to noah. Data flows through noah, and noah sends it to the courier manifest automatically. No need to go to a dashboard, no need to do manual calling or manual inputing of orders. It goes straight to the manifest and the courier just goes to the warehouse of the vendor and ships the order. The whole system now is automated,” said Supan, who was also a former retail-leasing manager of SM.
The Ateneo de Davao business graduate also shared that xpanse currently has around 20 live macro brands and 200 micro brands. He even added that a 15-year-old girl is also a client of theirs, which proves how friendly the system is to beginners in the e-commerce industry.
Supan explained that micro brands can be as small as Instagram stores and Facebook resellers, even a one-man brand or a mom-and-pop businesses. For every business, noah’s rate remains constant at 2% and considering that most marketplaces charge up to 30-35%, the amount of savings can add up in the long run which is what the macro brands see as well.
Xpanse also boasts of a Return-to-Sender (RTS) rate of 4% which steers away from the industry standard for RTS clocking around 15 to 20%. Supan stated: “The number of orders we give to couriers are based on their performance. That is what noah does. Its algorithm calculates the best courier for certain locations.”
Noah is quite effective when it comes to order management. It stores and analyzes the order data which is available for viewing anytime. Its built-in payment feature allows customers to pay via their credit cards, debit cards, and cash on delivery. Clients are also given reports and analytics. Then, the platform creates order waybills for packaging and automatically contacts the best courier for pick-up and delivery while allowing a tracking of the order.
Instead of relinquishing all control and responsibilities to couriers, xpanse introduced a performance-based system to identify the laggards among shipping companies while increasing business and order traffic to the competent ones. This diminishes the shipper’s complacency and increases competitiveness.
All of xpanse’s courier partners must already have a back-end system and interested businesses should develop one, after which they can easily connect to noah.
xpanse aims to serve 200 .ph sites by 2020. At present, most of their clients are fashion brands like GAP, Banana Republic, and Payless. The company is already in its first round of talks with investors and is keen on an Asian expansion.