23 June 2021
Australian startup BuyersCircle has appointed advertising entrepreneur Siimon Reynolds as its chairman.
BuyersCircle, founded in 2019 by former Alibaba executives Jackey Xu and Justin King, allows small and micro businesses, home entrepreneurs and social media influencers to market and sell products and services through social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp using ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ as a form of word-of-mouth advertising.
Reynolds joins with a 30-year career in the business and media industry. He previously cofounded Photon Group which is now known as Enero Group and was chairman of online network OMG which was acquired by Fairfax Media.
BuyersCircle is seeking to replicate the success of Chinese social ecommerce platform Pinduoduo, founded in 2015, which overtook Alibaba as China’s most popular ecommerce platform at the end of 2020 with close to 720 million active monthly users.
“The idea makes a lot of sense to me in a viral, digital, social world,” Reynolds says.
“It’s a no-brainer that good deals will be spread socially and that’s what BuyersCircle is all about. Having seen the success of the (social e-commerce) model in China and Asia more generally, it seems logical that it is going to be adopted by western societies. Pinduoduo is an enormous success.
“The essence of Pinduoduo is really what BuyersCircle is all about.”
Reynolds says his three key objectives as chair is to firstly help BuyersCircle tell its story “succinctly and well”. The second is to help mentor the company’s senior managers, and the third is to introduce them to key people in Australia such as investors, senior staff or suppliers.
SpringCapital is in the final stages of a $5million capital raise for BuyersCircle.
“Simon demonstrated from a very young age an ability to cut through to an audience and he shares our passion for social e-commerce, which will change the way businesses market to consumers,” Xu says.
“Social ecommerce allows us to connect with similar, likeminded people, staying within the trusted circle of our online community. We are then able to organically discover, buy, sell and share through a unique shopping experience within our favourite social platforms.”
BuyersCircle has tapped into the Australian Chinese community’s love for social ecommerce via the popular WeChat platform, and has generated more than AU$133 million in gross merchandise value in less than 12 months. It is now turning its attention to the broader Australian market, launching a platform in mid-2021 that allows consumers to share deals with their social media.