How does a latecomer to online shopping steal the market from e-commerce giants such as Taobao and JD.com? One way is to target a specific group of consumers. Wang Kaixin, a 17-year-old high school dropout and CEO of “ShenqiBuy”, is ambitiously entering the game by targeting users her own age.
“ShenqiBuy”, or “MagicBuy” in English, is an e-commerce site founded last September in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen that targets the post-95 generation of young Chinese people. It landed RMB 20 million (USD three million) in Series A fundraising only three months after the launch of its app from notable investors including Matrix Partners China, Zhen Fund, and Shenzhen-based InnoValley, which also invested several million yuan in its angel financing, reported tech media outlet Cyzone.com on Wednesday.
Wang said this round of funding will be used to expand the team and update the app. She plans to double her team from the 50 staff it has right now to 100.
With Doge, a dog meme popular with young people, as the website’s logo, ShenqiBuy sells snacks, accessories, stationery, backpacks, and other things to teenagers who are into the cute, new and trendy.
Deviating from the common practice of dividing goods by category, this app uses the latest trends among middle schoolers as tags. For example, Japanese animation, Korean boy band EXO, popular Chinese post-90s boy band TFBoys and the like. A professional team of buyers post daily recommendations on the app, using comments from frequent consumers. In this way, high-schoolers who have little time to shop online get easy access to what they want.
The e-commerce site came out of Wang’s high school experience selling things to her classmates. Under strong opposition from her family, she insisted on dropping out of high school and starting her own company.
She said her advantage is that she knows her target consumers very well. She says teenagers want things that are funny and affordable, because they only need them for entertainment, to impress their classmates or to stand out.
“The top three bestsellers are an umbrella with a cartoon banana on it, a potato chip handbag and a plastic watch with a fruit logo,” Wang said.
Wang said 80% of goods sold on the platform are priced between RMB 10-100, in accordance with the consumption habits of teenagers. According to a survey conducted by the company, 75% of post-95s have less than RMB 1000 to spend every month.
Wang claims to have 300,000 registered users on the platform and to have received more than 1000 daily orders as of January 2016.
China now has more than 200 million post-95s, 90% of whom are internet-driven. According to TalkingData, a mobile data analysis platform, 36.5% of China’s mobile device users are under the age of 25, as of last December.