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Arrow Simplifies Checkout Process in Southeast Asia E-commerce, Boosts Conversion Rates

Ecommerce businesses keep track of their retail conversion rates to ascertain whether their advertising spend has been channeled effectively. Advertisers are often told that a change in the color palette of their website, font spacing, or images lead to higher conversion rates.

These are basic, run-of-the-mill A/B testing best practices, which can help drive conversions. These efforts may only lead to small, single-digit increases in conversion rate – unlikely to shoot into the ideal 10% or greater conversion ticket.

However, achieving greater conversion rates takes more than just aesthetics and statistics. Lazada, one of Southeast Asia’s biggest ecommerce spaces, has also seen heavy drop-offs from shopping carts since 2015, an industry source told Tech in Asia.

An efficient customer journey is key to pushing instant purchases. However, when customer encounters page redirects and extensive form-filling, they generally tend to leave before completing the purchase. This is called cart abandonment or “drop-offs.”

The Arrow team/ Photo credit: Arrow

A Singapore-based company co-founded by Liat Beng Neo, a former executive at Grab, Ant Financial, and Tencent aims to address this issue. To reduce the number of drop-offs in e-commerce, Arrow’s specialized checkout solution simplifies the online shopping payments process.

The company’s co-founders also include Sebastian Roervig and Sudhan Raj.

Tapping into the money

Established in January, Arrow keeps tabs on purchases and stores encrypted data only for shopping. It eliminates the need for users to enter their personal data, including passwords, credit details, and addresses when making a purchase.

The startup’s seamless checkout solution for e-commerce companies can function out of conventional marketplaces like Lazada, Tokopedia, and Shopify. Arrow can be embedded across applications, mobile apps, and websites, allowing over 60 merchants today to collect payments from the platform with a single click.

The checkout option can be added to direct-to-consumer websites and messaging apps, as well as social media including TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. It can also be used by bloggers and content creators, who would otherwise include affiliate links to process payments.

“The checkout system in Southeast Asia is extremely broken. When you have to think twice about a purchase, it slows down the actual payment process. We want to help companies increase their gross merchandise value, and contribute to the growth of a vibrant online economy,” said Neo.

Arrow, which was recently inducted into Y Combinator’s startup accelerator program, has raised US$1 million in its pre-seed round from Next Billion Ventures and Plug and Play Ventures.

The startup has also been backed by iSeed, and Village Global, along with angel investors including Ooi Huey Tyng, advisor at Grab Financial Group, Michel Cueilhes-Jaheny, director for compliance at Railsbank, Tan Wenyou, head of corporate finance at OVO, John Chua, former head of fundraising at Grab, Krishnan Menon, founder of Bukukas, Foo Tiang Lim, co-founder of Forge Ventures, and Hassan Ahmed, head of Southeast Asia at Coinbase.

Arrow is currently raising a seed round that’s expected to close by September, but its deal value has yet to be decided. It is also looking to secure funds from investors at Y Combinator’s demo day, which will be held from August 31 to September 1.

Checkout in Southeast Asia

Arrow intends to invest fresh capital into its product, design, and engineering efforts. Part of the funds will also go towards its expansion into other Southeast Asian countries.

The company, which is currently operational in Singapore and Malaysia, will enter newer markets such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines by the fourth quarter of 2021.

The startup will be localizing its product by integrating popular payment gateways and methods onto its platform, which includes bank transfers and credit cards.

Arrow has partnered with various payment gateways like Stripe and Rapyd, which are already connected to banks and digital wallets. “We are looking to create new payment experiences for customers by working on top of these gateways as they do most of the heavy lifting,” added Neo.

Currently, Arrow is tracking US$150,000 in gross merchandise value in August.

The firm said it will develop more channels for merchants and other features aimed at boosting their revenues on Arrow, including group buying as well as cross-selling and upselling products within its network. Arrow will also introduce additional safety features, including biometric authentication, by the end of Q4.



ARTICLE WRITTEN BY: Deepti Sri, Tech in Asia

Arrow is one of our portfolio startups in Plug and Play APAC. As an in-house venture capital, our goal is to fund the teams that are building the defensible businesses of the future. By leveraging our capital, our network of VCs, and our corporate partners, we give our portfolio companies an added advantage. Join our platform today!

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