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Can BuyHive Disrupt The Global Procurement Space With Its “Alibaba+UpWork” Model

Can BuyHive Disrupt The Global Procurement Space With Its “Alibaba+UpWork” Model

BuyHive was installation in 2019 by way of Minesh Pore, Michael Hung and Brent Barnes to cope with the growing call for of worldwide customers who need to supply great products without large overheads

The agency offers an ecommerce platform (theBuyHive.Com) and a community of freelance procurement experts

The startup aims to move for its first round of funding in some months to expand its platform for sourcing professionals

Be it geared up-to-put on collections, home décor/household items or maybe medical gadget (in a few instances), Indian retailers regularly source a huge chunk of those merchandise from neighbouring countries and areas in addition to other global markets because of advanced product first-class and price-effectiveness.  

Traditionally, each manufacturers and retailers depended on a significant network of skilled sourcing experts. But while the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020, the agencies and the specialists they relied on suffered heavily because the latter could not physically travel to worldwide manufacturing hubs for inspection and sourcing. 

Although a few corporations shifted these operations entirely on line (study B2B ecommerce), none was entirely satisfied. This was particularly authentic for heaps of small stores from India, who used to go to Southeast Asian markets for in-character evaluations. Would things be better if a trusted source within the foreign markets could do it on their behalf and take obligation for submit-income lawsuits and concerns?

Interestingly, a crew of experts with decades of revel in in worldwide deliver chain management realised this addressable gap even before the pandemic. So, Hong Kong-based BuyHive, a tech-enabled global platform for B2B sourcing, came up in 2019 with a bouquet of services to this impact.  

BuyHive offers an ecommerce platform (theBuyHive.Com) and a network of procurement specialists who freelance for the startup to ensure handy and reliable procurement for global shoppers. 

Two different carrier services are in vicinity for this cause. 

As a part of its ecommerce presenting, BuyHive acts as a sourcing consultancy and facilitates global producers and shops perceive and paintings with suitable suppliers worldwide based on zone-specific requirements. In brief, BuyHive provides a controlled B2B ecommerce carrier in this area.

But there is yet another and unique providing. According to cofounder Minesh Pore, many outlets went out of enterprise over the last few years, especially in the course of the pandemic, and their skilled procurement specialists became jobless. These professionals freelance on the platform and provide their services to smaller organizations that can not afford them complete-time. The business enterprise has ambitious plans to grow its base of freelancers in India however greater on that later.

Building A Global Sourcing Platform For Manufacturers And Retailers

BuyHive changed into installation via Minesh Pore, Michael Hung and Brent Barnes to tap into the growing call for of buyers global. It appeared like a dawn segment a good deal earlier than the pandemic as businesses had been searching out extra efficient approaches you bought excellent merchandise minus the massive overheads of purchasing offices and high priced annual visits to sourcing festivals. 

“There are home variations of Alibaba-like platforms in all markets. However, these do no longer always assist overseas buyers manipulate fine manipulate or post-sales issues. But given the current scenario where all of us is running remotely, having that fine warranty from skilled procurement professionals can make the activity loads less difficult,” Pore informed Inc42.

Pore and Barnes had previously worked for NASDAQ-indexed and Hong Kong-based totally B2B trading media corporation Global Sources that created content material associated with global procurement answers. (It changed into acquired by way of Blackstone in 2017.) Working there helped the duo apprehend the nitty-gritty of global sourcing challenges. 


Hung comes from a circle of relatives that owns the Headwind Group. The organization designs and manufactures merchandise for retail giants, inclusive of Target, Walmart, Polyconcept and Hit Promotional Products, amongst others. 

“We ought to see a lot of recent technology in the B2B sourcing area and a large wide variety of third-celebration marketplaces. But we additionally saw the want to connect humans with information to handle those solutions. Many B2B marketplaces realize their consumer markets very well however are lacking in sourcing competencies. And keep in mind, that is a worldwide situation,” stated Pore.

BuyHive’s clients consist of dealers on B2C ecommerce structures and B2B marketplaces except major outlets in advanced markets just like the US,  Europe and India. The company says it has more than 60,000 registered customers and caters to clients in the US, the UK, the European Union, India, Greater China and Southeast Asia. 

According to Pore, each purchaser is putting orders worth $250K-$300K using the freelance consultancy offerings to be had at the platform. The facts captured through these orders help the startup construct a community of requirement-precise suppliers, in addition used to power the business enterprise’s ecommerce platform.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the platform has emerged as a worldwide resource for shopping PPE kits and scientific device, serving skilled shoppers, B2B and B2C dealers and experts doing excessive quantity procurement for the first time. The startup labored with the Hemkunt Foundation group at some stage in the second Covid wave to fulfill the necessities for scientific components. 

“We have now not shied away from going for the low-placing fruit,” stated Pore. “The products most in demand at some point of the pandemic have been clinical substances and PPE kits, and a large chunk of our worldwide clients were given in contact with us because of pandemic-induced emergency requirements.” 

BuyHive Is Building A Network Of Freelance Professionals; Will It Be The Upwork Of Global Procurement Services? 

Sourcing As A Service For Global Clients

“In a buying and selling marketplace, consumers generally look for sellers generating the goods they want. Then they touch the ones sellers, get charges and manipulate the whole evaluation and high-quality manage on their own. Here we offer a matchmaking provider and advocate the high-quality providers primarily based on finances, product necessities and other metrics,” stated Pore. 

It prices 5% of the order fee as a provider price for its ecommerce solutions and appears after the complete nice control and provider control element. On the ecommerce facet, the platform offerings orders well worth $a hundred and eighty-250K consistent with customer. In India, it really works with 0.33-birthday celebration marketplaces like Moglix and Zilingo.

Among its worldwide B2B customers are US-based totally retailer Sprouts Farmers Market, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre, the National Health Service (UK) and ecommerce dealers from the USA, among others.

The business enterprise primarily competes with conventional worldwide buying and selling houses, which have whole manipulate over the sourcing surroundings globally. It claims to be profitable and has clocked a sales of $18 Mn+ since it have become operational in July 2020.  

Building A Freelance Sourcing Network In India

BuyHive has recently rolled out its Expert-Assisted Sourcing Program (EASP) in India. This initiative enables worldwide customers connect at once with unbiased Indian experts, specialising in various product classes. Pore likened it to international freelancing platform Upwork, but it is tailor-made for procurement and sourcing jobs.

These freelancers must have worked with local producers and procured goods for global consumers for greater than 10 years with an intensive information of producing methods and must be cozy with local languages and business etiquette. 

BuyHive’s EASP claims to be the first-of-its-type programme that offers global buyers direct get admission to to freelance sourcing specialists from India. In Greater China, the company has greater than 650 sourcing specialists specialising in purchaser goods industries, and 75% of them are based in Hong Kong. 

Given India’s significance as a sourcing vacation spot, BuyHive plans to recruit five,000+ impartial sourcing experts right here over the next 365 days. These recruits will cowl a diverse set of categories, along with apparel and textile, domestic décor, handicrafts, metalware, lawn and outside furnishing, electronics, hardware and hand equipment.


 It plans to paintings with production associations and export promoting councils to recruit top sourcing professionals across verticals. 

 The Future Of Global Sourcing

India’s manufacturing region currently contributes nearly 17% to the country’s GDP and employs about 21% of the personnel, totalling 30 Mn or so. And the Make-in-India vision document pursuits to boom this GDP contribution to twenty-five%.

Interestingly, BuyHive plans to tap into this manufacturing region with its ESAP initiative and ecommerce solutions to grow its enterprise and additionally raise growth capital.  

“We are worthwhile proper now, but as we add on freelancers and expand quicker globally, we would need to raise capital,” stated Pore. This capital need to come from sourcing and production quarter leaders so that the employer can work with buyers closer to growing their organizations. 

The corporation expects to begin fundraising in another 3 months when it improvements the freelancing platform. “We are not simply seeking out project capital but for strategic traders,” Pore delivered.

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