There has been a lot of headline-grabbing news in Korean e-commerce this year. First, Coupang (sometimes called Korea’s Amazon) listed at a valuation of around $60Bn. Last week, fresh food delivery platform, Market Kurly, announced plans for a public listing. Both companies have managed to reduce the time between when you buy online and receive your orders to a matter of hours.
These companies rightly deserve praise, but they are also the trees that hide the forest. Or, to use a French saying:
"Un arbre qui tombe fait plus de bruit qu’une forêt qui pousse"
This translates roughly as: "A falling tree makes more noise than a growing forest".
So, which companies equally deserve our attention? One of them is fresh grocery delivery company, Oasis Market happens to be my favourite supermarket. It took me two years before I realized Oasis was also a major online competitor to Market Kurly and SSG.com.
Founded in 2011, Oasis Market began life as a regular offline business selling organic food. In 2018, the company launched an online shopping platform offering early morning delivery. The online business has proven incredibly successful. Last week, Oasis raised $44Mn at a valuation of over $650Mn, meaning its valuation has nearly doubled in the last three months.
Whether you’re in the supermarket or ordering online, Oasis sells 100% organic products packed in environmentally-friendly packaging. Here’s some other interesting facts:
- Oasis products are sourced directly from local organic farms across Korea.
- The management has developed a proprietary technology to forecast demand which has helped them keep a tight grip on inventory.
- Among the early morning grocery delivery platforms, Oasis is the only one to have created a profitable business model (operating profit increased around tenfold year-on-year in 2020)
As entrepreneurs travel into space amid huge publicity, it is important to remember some of the greatest improvements in our daily lives have come from innovations we didn't even notice.
All Oasis customers know, or care about, is Oasis provides quality organic food at affordable prices. But behind the scenes, without fanfare, the company has combined traditional practices and clever innovations to deliver that experience scalably. The parent company behind Oasis is filing a patent application for logistics solutions in the USA. Oasis is getting ready to internationalize. You heard it here first.
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