Australian startup Sinorbis, whose marketing platform helps brands develops and execute their marketing for Chinese consumers, has raised $4 million in a Series A funding round led by Jelix Ventures, with participation from investors including existing backer Executive Channel Holdings.
Founded by Nicolas Chu, Dandan Cheng, Allen Qu, and Dhruv Parashar, Sinorbis’s first iteration was as a consulting agency helping businesses bridge the gap between the Chinese and Western markets, providing insights on everything from language to culture, before its software platform evolved.
“Before the launch of Sinorbis, gaining access to China’s fast-growing online market has been fraught with challenges for international businesses due to China’s unique digital ecosystem and the cost of doing so was prohibitive for the majority of SMEs,” Chu said.
“Our technology levels the playing field for Australian businesses looking to capitalise on China’s booming digital market, worth over $1 trillion in online sales alone.”
With the startup raising $2.3 million in May 2017, the fresh funding will go towards accelerating the growth of the platform.
Launched in July last year, Sinorbis reported that it is now working with a wide variety of clients, from sole traders to ASX-listed companies; among them are the likes of Nature’s Way, Sydney Airport, and BMW Australia, with Chu saying Sinorbis is seeing particularly strong demand from the consumer goods and education sectors.
Thirty percent of its clients are based overseas.
Andrea Gardiner, founder and CEO of Jelix Ventures, said, “We were very impressed with what the Sinorbis team has been able to achieve in a little over a year since its launch. We’re investing in a promising Australian startup with great early commercial results and a notable client portfolio.”
The opportunities for Sinorbis, according to Chu, are significant; he told Startup Daily last year that digital marketing spend in China from western companies already sits at almost US$5 billion a year.
“However, much of this is misdirected or simply lost in translation. Our technology will help better target this spend and be the catalyst to grow this market to nearly US$30 ($40.5) billion annually in the next decade,” he said.
Sinorbis is one of a number of startups looking to help other businesses access the Chinese consumer.
Looking inwardly to help Australian businesses tap into Chinese consumers while they are travelling in Australia is Adelaide startup UWAI.
With 60 million Chinese travelling globally each year, UWAI helps Chinese consumers access information and guides to local businesses as they travel.
Launched in South Australia last year, UWAI now has more than 2,700 businesses on board across the state. Food is huge: while just 14 percent of the businesses on board are restaurants, more than 60 percent of profile views are for food and beverage.
Image: Sinorbis cofounders Dhruv Parashar, Dandan Cheng, Allen Qu, Nicolas Chu. Source: Supplied.