On November 1, 2023, the Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (Sidec) announced the five winners of this year’s Selangor E-Commerce Xccelerator (ECX23) during its Final Demo Day.
It’s a new programme intended to provide ecommerce entrepreneurs, business owners, and founders with the necessary aid to succeed in the competitive digital market.
This is done by providing a fresh perspective on creating successful growth strategies that include rich case studies, anecdotes, and practical tips.
A total of 30 SMEs was shortlisted based on a set of requirements, including having an annual Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of RM500,000 to RM10,000,000.
From these, five winners were crowned.
1. Nori Malaysia
Nori Malaysia is a brand incubator for celebrities. The company provides funding, ideas, and concepts to help celebrities build and grow their businesses and brands. According to its website, the brand mainly dabbles in lifestyle products.
Besides manufacturing, Nori Malaysia also handles the supply chain, inbound and outbound communications, customer service, fulfilment, and financial management for the celebrities. The brand partners with malls, marketplaces, third-party products, affiliate marketing and media.
2. Pastels Group
Pastels Group is the company behind The Pastels Shop, a local brand that’s expanded its offerings from distributing K-beauty products to creating its own line of skincare goods.
Founded by former chemical engineer, Sarini Zainal, in 2019, The Pastels Shop’s product line focuses on minimal and transparent skincare formulation. “We firmly believe that understanding the chemistry behind skincare products is the key to achieving long-lasting and effective results,” its website states.
Started by a mother of three, Shapee is a maternity and nursing company specialising in motherhood needs during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
It started as a generic shapewear business, but later pivoted to address the more niche industry of maternity shapewear. Some of its product lines today include maternity pants, belly wraps, and disposable bath products.
Apart from that, they also offer a digital learning platform for parents, especially to educate on pregnancy and joint childcare.
4. Sonobee Ultrasound
A healthcare company, Sonobee Ultrasound provides various scanning services for the examination of expectant mothers. This includes preliminary scans up to 5D and 4D, which use advanced ultrasound technology for more accurate and detailed scan results.
For context, 4D ultrasounds allow you to see a baby moving, yawning, stretching, and smiling in real time. On the other hand, 5D ultrasounds produce 3-dimensional images of your baby with realistic reddish-pink tones.
The brand also provides VR Scans where you can wear a VR headset to see your baby in closer detail.
5. Big Bath
Providing solutions for kitchen and bathroom amenities, Big Bath is a 13-year-old business that has grown to nine showrooms and is still expanding. To date, its largest one stands at 20,000 sq ft and is located in Sabah.
According to its website, the brand’s core vision is to provide affordable quality and luxury bathroom experiences to customers. “We believe your home is the most important place in the world as it is your sanctuary and thus should be equipped with the very best that you deserve.”
Winners gain cash & business opportunities
According to Sidec, each winner was selected based on their respective innovative business models, growth potential, and effective utilisation of the insights gained from the ECX23 programme.
The panel of judges this time included:
- Punitharaja Nadaraja, Senior Regional Director of Sales and Distribution at Affin Bank
- Yong Kai Ping, CEO of Sidec
- Alan Kok Kim Lin, CBDO and co-founder of EasyStore
- Oon Wee Keong, co-founder and COO of Razer Merchant Services
- Mior Luqman, VP of Investments at RHL Ventures
- Hafizam Shamsudin, Head of Fund Investments at MAVCAP
As champions, the five companies will receive cash prizes from a pool of RM25,000, and the opportunity for a business trip to Hangzhou, the birthplace of ecommerce giants such as Alibaba. This will hopefully open more doors for business expansion and networking opportunities.
Besides that, they will be inducted into CXO Club, a league of premier businesses where they can forge valuable connections to form new ventures and partnerships.
An annual programme to uplift ecommerce SMEs
Each of the startups underwent an intensive three-month programme offering guidance from experienced mentors, comprehensive workshops, and pitching clinics. At the same time, the programme offered opportunities for funding and market access.
This way, entrepreneurs will be better prepared for investments and future business expansions.
Some key sectors that Sidec is looking to empower with this annual programme include:
- Food and beverages (F&B)
- Home living and home appliances
- Fashion and lifestyle
- Health, beauty, and wellness
- Education and learning
Registrations for the next cohort of this annual ECX programme will be opened in mid-2024 on Sidec’s website.
Congratulations to the winners of this programme, and we look forward to seeing who the next batch of champions will be!
- Read articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Sidec