But, with a cumulative population of over 600 million, the region is already seen as lucrative opportunity for many online retailers — among them, Alibaba recently invested $1 billion in Rocket Internet-backed Lazada.
Founded by ex-Ticket Monster duo Frank Kang and Christopher Cynn alongside CFO Jae Yoon Kim, the Korean startup sells to consumers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines with plans to enter Southeast Asia s two other major markets — Thailand and Vietnam — before the end of this year.
The most notable example is Memebox, which graduated Y Combinator and has raised close to $30 million from investors, but Membox is focused on Western markets while Althea is looking only at Southeast Asia for now.
The past year of work seems to be going well, with Althea claiming 500,000 monthly unique visitors and an annualized run rate of over $10 million in revenue.
The company said it is growing at 30 percent per month and is on track to reach profitability by the end of this year.
Our business is scalable so we can consider any market and any country, but we want to focus on Southeast Asia because it is the second largest region for Korean exports behind only China.