Mockuai (魔筷科技) has recently announced (in Chinese) the completion of its Series C round of financing led by Zhongyuan Capital (众源资本), raising hundreds of millions of yuan. Gaorong Capital (高榕资本) also participated in this round.
Previously, the company received strategic investments from Kuaishou, Vipshop (VIPS:NYSE) and Tencent (0700:HKEX).
Founded in 2015, the Hangzhou-based company positioned itself as an e-commerce Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider for key accounts. With the rise of e-commerce live-streaming in China, Mockuai has gradually transformed to serve short-video platforms and influencers.
It started to contract with Kuaishou in 2018, and it is also among the first batch of external service providers to receive official access to the platform of China's short video giant.
Since the concept of short video and live commerce started to emerge in China in 2016, the scale of it has surged. According to iiMedia Research, the market size of live commerce was CNY 19 billion (USD 2.7 billion) in 2017, while this number rocketed to CNY 433.8 billion (USD 61.2 billion) in 2019.
However, for those Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) doing live commerce on platforms like Kuaishou and TikTok, issues like a lack of supply of products and the proper application of selection and quality control may hamper activity. This goes especially for those who have 100,000 to 1,000,000 followers; in other words, those who occupy the middle of the hierarchy. Meanwhile, live streaming platforms also have the concern that if the influencers promote products without decent quality, it will negatively affect the user experience on their app, which may decrease engagement and even lead to loss of users.
This has inspired the business model of Mockuai to cut into the supply chain of products for live commerce. At present, there are hundreds of thousands of Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) on its SaaS platform, which mainly lies in categories of food and beverages, cosmetics and home appliances.
Products of the dealers can be seen on Mockuai’s platform only if they first pass the screening of the team of the SaaS provider. Then KOLs on Kuaishou can directly release these products in their own shops on the platform, where the links to the products can pop up on the interface as they promote them during live streaming.
In this case, the entire transaction process can be completed in Kuaishou – without redirection to other e-commerce platforms. Meanwhile, Mockuai is also in charge of after-sales services.
At present, there are more than a million KOLs registered on Mockuai. The company will continue focusing on serving Kuaishou in the future, and gradually expand to contract with other live commerce platforms.
Here are some firms whose businesses lie in a similar area to that of Mockuai: Anchanto – a Singapore B2B SaaS company enabling warehouse management and omni-channel retail management – and Synagie (SCL:SGX), also a Singapore-based player who provides end-to-end solutions for businesses selling online and offline.