Samarkand Group Limited, an e-commerce platform that some have dubbed as the ‘mini Hut Group’, has said it is aiming to raise around GBP10mln through a listing on the Aquis Stock Exchange in London.

The company, which focuses on connecting western brands with the Chinese ecommerce market, the world’s largest, said the funds will be raised by way of a placing to institutional investors and a subscription to qualifying investors, with its listing on the Aquis exchange targeted for March.

Samarkand said the proceeds of the fundraising will be used primarily to further develop the functionality and services of its Nomad ecommerce platform as well as expanding its business development activities and making “further strategic acquisitions”.

For the eight months to November 30, the company reported revenues of GBP16mln, up from GBP3.8mln in 2019, while it swung to a pre-tax profit of GBP1.8mln from a GBP1.1mln loss in the prior year.

“The Chinese eCommerce market is larger than the next 10 markets combined and more than 50c of every dollar spent online globally happens in China, yet many Western brands have struggled to penetrate this market effectively. Since 2016, Samarkand has been helping these brands penetrate and maximise their exposure in this key territory. We established Samarkand to provide a more direct-to-consumer route to the world’s largest eCommerce market reducing the risks, costs and barriers to entry that have discouraged Western brands from entering the Chinese market for so long”, Samarkand co-founder and chief executive David Hampstead said in a statement.

“With the recent global events and the full impact of Brexit starting to be felt by brands and retailers it has never been more important for companies to reach new markets. In the first few months of 2020 China added 92mln new eCommerce consumers, more than the entire population of Germany, bringing the number of active consumers to 715mln. With our suite of solutions we are ideally placed to take advantage of the rapid market expansion and the macro-economic changes that are taking place. We have achieved 166% like-for-like growth in recurring revenue in the 8 months to 30 November 2020 vs the prior period and grown our list of brand partners and number of deployments of our technology.”

“The listing on Aquis will enable us to access capital which can accelerate our momentum, maximise the opportunity ahead and deliver outstanding results for all stakeholders. We look forward to welcoming new investors at an extremely exciting time for the group and to sharing a highly prosperous future”, the CEO added.

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