Pinoy startup Qarabao promises zero transaction fees for MSMEs

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By Ram Superable Agustin

The success of micro, small, and medium Enterprises (MSMEs) depends on efficient processes. This is what the recently launched Qarabao — a subscription-based eCommerce platform which provides services for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) — aims to address.

Qarabao CEO Mike Tiongson

The Eastwood City-based Qarabao is owned and operated by Pocketmarket International eCommerce Corporation and its tagline is “Let us do the hard work.” A mobile app version of the online web application is also in the works.

Qarabao CEO Mike Tiongson explained: “We found that many Filipinos are intimidated by the idea of even starting a business. We want to change this and empower every Filipino to follow their business dreams. We built Qarabao so that more Filipino entrepreneurs would have access to innovative tools that would help build their businesses which in turn would be a boon to our country’s economy.”

Qarabao’s Standard Plan costs P490 per month. For this amount, Qarabao will be responsible for the business owners’ tracking of inventory (available 24/7), management of orders and customer details, multiple payment channels or options, and shipping management, which includes setting pickup locations and picking third-party couriers, customer relationship management, and even providing reports and analytics that are already built-in on the platform.

The online service guarantees that there are no added transaction fees on top of the monthly subscription rate.

According to Qarabao product manager Cookie Enriquez, they do not want to take from the earnings of business owners. Hence, they have zero transaction fees. This gives businesses an added boost since, considering the e-commerce landscape in the country, marketplaces usually gain 20% to 30% of the revenue in sold items.

“In the coming months, we will release new plans that include Campaign Management, eCommerce Chatbot and Website services. Many customers have been asking for a Point of Sale (POS) system, so that’s in Qarabao’s development pipeline as well,” added Enriquez.

Qarabao CTO Roy Nepomuceno likewise said, “From the get-go, we aimed to challenge the idea that learning to optimize your business would include a steep learning curve so when you experience Qarabao, you’ll see that it’s tidy, timely, and convenient for the business owners to use and so reliable that their customers will keep coming back.”

Nepomuceno pointed out that it was also important that the system they built would be easily utilized by Filipinos with little to no tech background.

Qarabao currently supports multiple payment channels: credit or debit card, online payments, bank deposit or transfer, and over-the-counter payments through partners such as PayPal, PayMaya, and and with cash on delivery available in a short while. Also coming soon for their fully integrated shipping options will include Lalamove, Shippo,, as well as Zoom Courier and Xpost.

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