CompAsia expects recommerce revenue to exceed US$237 million in 2022

  • Growth driven by new products, 5G adoption and expansion in Indonesia
  • Shift from going online and shifting focus to B2C and C2C from B2B

Who could ever have a clue that re-commercing, i.e. the sale of second-hand electronics, can have great business potential?

Well, enter CompAsia Sdn Bhd, which has quietly grown from an unglamorous part of the mobile industry value chain to become a US$71.06 million (RM300 million) company in 2019. That’s already hugely impressive for a seven-year-old company, but it has grown rapidly over the past two years, and is planning another strong year for 2022.

“We projected that this year we will have over RM1 billion ($237 million) in revenue,” CompAsia founder and CEO Julius Lim said, declining to reveal his 2021 revenue.

It sold around 500,000 mobile devices in the nine countries where it operates in 2020, helped by the launch of its online store in June 2020. “Last year we sold over 600,000 devices, and this year we expect to sell over a million,” Julius said, adding that the online store has grown 2,500% since its launch.

The reason for this boom is due to the crucial shift in approach from B2B buy-back and exchange with major telecom operators and phone manufacturers to a B2C and C2C (consumer-to-consumer) approach catalyzed by Covid-19 and the increasing demand for affordable and reliable smartphones.

“Since then, we have been looking to focus more on B2C in the years to come. Therefore, we will increase brand awareness and trust, while educating our consumers,” Julius added of the business he started in 2012.

CompAsia claims to be a leading financial and recommerce platform for tech devices focusing on buying and selling used electronic gadgets like smartphones, laptops and smartwatches at the most affordable price while maintaining maximum reliability in order to maximize their “lifetime” to the maximum; while minimizing e-waste at the same time.

A sign of changing market behavior, it doesn’t focus on desktop PCs which aren’t as common as they used to be.

“Therefore, by focusing on the most in-demand devices, we are able to optimize costs, which means even lower prices on the gadgets we offer,” said Elaine Ho, Head of Marketing at CompAsia. .

Since its launch in Malaysia, CompAsia now operates in nine countries including Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong, India, USA and UK, while also having more than 50 partners in the Asian region, including major telecom operators, manufacturers, retailers, financial institutions. , and insurance companies. It is launched in Indonesia this year.

When asked why they had waited until now to expand into Southeast Asia’s largest country, Elaine said their expansion into new markets was driven by the partners in each market.

“At the same time, we had to be ready for such a large market. Now that we have experienced significant growth, we have the resources and the partners to help us enter the Indonesian market with confidence,” she explained.

This growth includes an increase in the workforce from 2020, growing from around 100 employees in Malaysia to a regional workforce of over 250.

“With our growing presence in more places, we are looking to fulfill a variety of roles; hence the aggressive hiring spree of good talent across the region,” Elaine said.

While it’s hard to find people who have experience or knowledge of the recommerce tech space in Malaysia, “we welcome fresh graduates and train them on this industry,” Julius said.

Three new products to boost growth

“We’re going to invest a lot more in R&D, because things like our exchange and our funding are very technological, and that differentiates us from everyone else,” Julius said while declining to elaborate on how much CompAsia plans to invest in it. R&D.

CompAsia launched its InstaCash app in 2019, which allows users to trade in their used devices for cash. Their smartphones would be picked up at a preferred location and they would be paid on the spot. The app is available in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Users in Malaysia can use their Malaysian ID card or passport for verification.

ReNew+, on the other hand, does not have an app, but is a financing platform that allows users to pay later for devices over 36 months. Users in Malaysia must have the national identity card to be eligible, and those who do not will not be eligible for the program.

The InstaCover app will provide scanned device servicing programs that cover the device warranty for an extended period and exchange the registered device for a preferred model as long as the returning device’s IMEI number matches the IMEI number of the registered device without the need for supporting documents during the application. However, the application is still in the testing and development phase.

Growth in the post-pandemic era to get a 5G boost

While going online had benefited CompAsia during the pandemic, how will its business fare as Malaysia enters its endemic phase of Covid-19?

“Several factors will help us maintain our commercial momentum. A major contributor is the rollout of 5G across the country, as well as in other countries we are in,” Elaine said.

“In addition, we will market our brand more aggressively, with the support of our partners who have retail capabilities and are now reopening,” she said, confident in the overall value proposition that CompAsia offers. at the market.

“We offer high quality and affordable used devices through our online store while offering a trade-in, allowing them to finance their next phone, and also offer ReNew+ which is a convenient way for them to bring home a any new device without having to pay a large lump sum,” she added.

With inflation starting to bite, consumers are looking for different ways to deal with it and CompAsia has positioned itself as providing a key service in the market that doesn’t sting the wallet.

About Anne Wurtsbach

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