Logistics consolidator 1Export, a multi-awarded start-up, is optimistic about hitting the P500-million revenue mark in the next 18 months following its highly successful performance in 2020 when every digital enterprise quantum-leaped into the future of e-commerce.
Having found its way into helping micro, small and medium enterprises in the Philippines reach more markets, 1Export plans to reach 60 countries by the end of 2022 and expand the number of MSMEs it is working with to 3,000.
1Export is a tech-enabled exporting company that provides a one-stop end-to-end exporting platform to businesses. It aims to establish a low-barrier trading environment globally that operates seamlessly and efficiently with all businesses in all countries.
It landed a financing deal with Iterative VC, an angel funder and start-up enabler based, for its first funding round in 2021. 1Export considered this an opportunity to expand its reach and realize company targets.
Founded in 2016, 1Export promises to help MSMEs in the Philippines to grow their business and expand to different countries using digital tools and platforms. The company now has markets in the US, Australia, Canada, UAE, Kuwait, UK, and more.
What makes the company unique is that it’s more than just an e-commerce or logistic platform. 1Export takes third-party exporting to the next level by vetting local products to be cross-border compliant, allowing local businesses to follow the laws of the market they want to explore or expand to.
Compliance is often one of the most difficult steps to accomplish when expanding to other countries with different policies and laws, so having a reliable partner to handle export compliance can lift some burden off of the shoulders of Filipino business owners, said 1Export co-founder and chief executive Mel Nava.
“When you’re a business owner, you want to be working ‘on’ your business rather than ‘in’ your business as the saying goes. We enable Filipino entrepreneurs to achieve just that―instead of spending so much time and effort learning about the complexities of importing in different countries, they can focus on the core business activities that will enable them to scale,” she said.
1Export offers all-around exporting services, covering compliance documentation, product labeling, logistics, export facilitation, and marketing services. The company also provides clients with intensive business matching services to determine which of their products fit certain markets.
By doing so, local businesses can seamlessly expand abroad, boost their brand awareness, reach their target market and grow sales. Through its comprehensive services, 1Export has been able to reduce time and costs by 80 percent for exporting.
Caravan by 1Export provides aspiring Filipinos entrepreneurs living or working abroad a catalogue of unique and authentic Filipino products―ranging from food to clothing to beauty products―which they can choose from to start their own business where they are. If entrepreneurs want to sell items not available on the catalogue, Caravan by 1Export is ready to assist them in finding their preferred goods, as long as they’re export-compliant.
“We launched Caravan allowing us to grow our e-commerce model. Now, we’re not just selling to major distributors, but we’re also selling to smaller stores. This enables us to grow our market completely. We are currently serving 20 markets all over the world. We’re not just getting SMEs in the Philippines, but also SMEs in Indonesia and Korea,” Nava said.
1Export and Caravan provide Filipino entrepreneurs a myriad of opportunities to expand their business in new markets, as well as spread and empower the Filipino culture across the world. Entrepreneurs need only to sign up on 1Export’s website as a supplier partner to kick off their journey in business.
Company chief operating officer Daniel Remo said that while the company was created before the pandemic struck, it has been digital through-out, assisting MSMEs on export concerns and capacitating them from documentary assistance to collaterals to physically exporting their products to their destinations.
“1Export is the next generation of e-commerce, because not only do we integrate the different aspects of the first and second wave of e-commerce, but we now also integrate a cross-border element. We believe that e-commerce lies in the fact we must respond to the ever growing challenges of globalization, where we are able to address a wider market beyond the Philippines and beyond Southeast Asia. We employ strategies which are fir for the market, making our clients aware of the marketplace and making them compliant to markets all over the world. Together, I think we can make exporting great again,” he said.
1Export has assisted 450 MSMEs in accessing the global marketplace. The platform has brought these MSMEs and their products to 800 online and offline stores all over the world.
In 2020, 1Export’s global operations accounted for about 0.2 percent of the country’s total exports. The tech-enabled exporting company has distributed 3,000 metric tons of products to 23 different countries, generating around $500,000 or P25 million in export sales as of June 2021.
“It goes without saying that the pandemic has and continues to significantly affect the Philippine economy. But as we move forward and accept the business landscape in the new normal, 1Export is happy to contribute to the country’s recovery by circulating business transactions through exports and helping businesses expand their horizons,” Nava said.
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