Central Retail Corporation (CRC) has announced its latest investment in Mercular, a Thai rapid growth e-commerce startup who has the highest online sales in the Hobby & Lifestyle category. Closed the Series A funding deal on August 31 this year, Mercular raised more than $4 million from local and international investors. For this investment, CRC is committed to driving Mercular’s rapid and sustainable growth using its indefectible retail ecosystem, so the company has invested in Mercular through Power Buy, an electronics retail leader under the Central Retail Group, to extend from the existing e-commerce sales channel to an omnichannel platform. The investment is also expected to grow market opportunities for Hobby & Lifestyle products and deliver a ‘New Retail’ experience while building an authentic consumer community.
Mercular is a Hobby Lifestyle community commerce platform, and is a Thai startup that has been growing by leaps and bounds in a fiercely competitive market where multinational players are flocking in. The unique strength and competitive advantage that clearly set the new community commerce platform apart from its competitors is that it focuses on creating value for customers rather than just waging a price war. The key point is to be a leader in the Hobby & Lifestyle segment and to understand the lifestyle needs of hobbyists while having a strong commitment to creating a good customer experience – from offering a distinctive and complete range of products, providing insightful product knowledge, building a friendly community, and having a responsive after-sales service model that is different from other marketplace platforms. As a result, the company differentiates and creates sustainable competitiveness.
Mr. Ty Chirathivat, Deputy Chief Financial Officer of Central Retail Corporation Public Company Limited (CRC), said “The recent investment in Mercular represents CRC’s commitment to supporting potential Thai startups driven by the young and energetic new generation. We are empowering these people who have creative and fresh thinking to grow businesses rapidly by allowing them to fully take advantage of our strong retail ecosystem.”
“This also reflects the DNA of CRC that has the ceaseless vision for growth. We understand the modern consumer trends and target to reach out to the millennial customers with high purchasing power. Hobbyists have grown impressively by 11.26% and the market value for this segment is expected to reach 100 billion baht by 2025. This growth potential makes Mercular a very attractive business and it definitely posts a high chance for growth.”
“Together, we will create a ‘New Retail’ experience through Central Retail’s omnichannel and Mercular’s expertise in the field of e-commerce and consumer community for Hobby & Lifestyle products. Featured products include headphones, cameras, gaming devices, toys, and collectibles, among others. Tailored to meet various needs, the combined effort will start from cooperating with Power Buy in terms of sales channels and looking for more opportunities to expand to other business units of CRC in the future.”
Mr. Woragun Wattanasakchai, co-founder and CEO of Mercular.com, said, “Partnering with CRC will help accelerate our business growth concur Hobby & Lifestyle market, and be the market leader in Thailand. The investment will be used to build community commerce experience that bring in all hobbyist. Together with the fact that only few competitors understand the customer needs, the community commerce growth strategy is very promising as Hobby Lifestyle market has large market size and high growth potential.”
“We therefore believe that this collaboration will enable Mercular build shaper competitive edge by establishing integrated omnichannel shopping experiences – both online and offline across Thailand. Also, it is a perfect combination of community commerce and ‘New Retail’ experience where it will innovate fun and exciting shopping. This unique positioning will bring us to the market leading position, and it is a milestone for international expansion in the very near future.”
“Our investment in Mercular is an unconventional approach that reinforces the dynamic vision of CRC. Apart from developing and growing from within, we pay great attention to and open for the opportunities to invest in emerging startups and high potential business partners. By collaborating in this way, we see the spirit of mutual business reinforcement and uninterrupted growth amidst challenges in the New Normal.” Mr. Ty Chirathivat added.