Czech startup Retailys found success in Asia. It is now assisting with the expansion of other companies
The founder of the startup Retailys.com, Petr Heller, created an online platform that helps businesses sell in global marketplaces around the world. After participating in a three-month acceleration programme with CzechInvest, the company opened a branch in Singapore. It is now facilitating other companies’ expansion to foreign markets and represents the Czech Republic on government-sponsored missions around the world.
Retailys.com is a fast-growing technology startup that was established in 2016. It developed a multi-channel e-commerce platform that enables, from a single place online, administration of an unlimited number of e-shops in various languages, currencies and regions concurrently with products, orders and social networks.
Retailys makes it possible for businesses to sell goods in global e-marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. “We started out with managing domestic e-shops and standard websites. The growing demands of our customers and our experience from Asia, where companies use the internet for global expansion much more than in our country, led us to the idea that European companies will need a comprehensive tool for their expansion. We therefore started working on the Retailys platform,” says Petr Heller, founder of Retailys.
Retailys.com and CzechInvest
CEO Petr Heller: “After CzechInvest’s intensive three-month acceleration programme, we established a branch in Singapore and we gained our first customers and co-workers.”
Because the company first considered expanding to Asia and countries in other regions own its own, it took part in the three-month CzechAccelerator programme in spring 2018 and then the one-week CzechMatch programme in Singapore. In February 2019, the company attended the Slush Tokyo trade fair in connection with the CzechDemo programme. CzechInvest’s programmes helped the company to acquire new contacts in Southeast Asia and consult with experienced local mentors regarding trends in the area of Asian e-commerce.
The company succeeded in establishing itself in Singapore to such an extent that it opened a branch there, its second after London. “Currently, we are able to help both European companies expanding to Southeast Asia and Asian companies selling goods in Europe. Thanks to the existing branch in Singapore, we see that it is easier for us to penetrate other countries in the region, which we are now focusing on. To every company that wants to expand abroad, I recommend a similar experience, such as acceleration programmes, where it’s possible find out whether a project works in the market environment,” Petr Heller adds.
At the same time, Czech representatives have repeatedly invited the company to represent Czech e-commerce on economic diplomacy missions in, for example, India, Singapore and Shanghai. The purpose of these missions is to support Czech exports and negotiate new cooperation opportunities for Czech companies.
At present, the company is involved in educational e-commerce projects in the Czech Republic and is thus aiding the digitalisation of small and medium-sized firms, for which it has received a number of awards. For example, it won second place in the Digitalisation of Trade competition in November 2019 and took first place in the Trade category in the public voting of the Digital Company of the Year 2019 competition.
CzechInvest plays a key role in the area of comprehensive support for business and investments and is a state contributory organisation subordinate to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic. CzechInvest also accompany startups on the path to doing business. In 2019, it became the guarantor of the National Startup and Spin-off Environment pillar of the Innovation Strategy of the Czech Republic 2019-2030.
This project is implemented by CzechInvest with funding from the Marketing Program, priority axis 2 – “Development of Business and Competitiveness of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises” of the Operational Program Enterprise and Innovation for Competitiveness 2014-2020.