An Australian success story in China: CarePlus

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CarePlus is a Sydney-based online exporter of Australian food products, health supplements and personal care products to China.

Founded in 2011, CarePlus was established to satisfy the demand for premium Australian health products from the increasingly affluent Chinese middle class.

CarePlus has taken advantage of the growing trade ties between Australia and China, further encouraged by the recently signed free trade agreement, to significantly grow its business.

The company operates via an e-commerce platform owned by Alibaba, one of the largest global e-commerce companies connecting Chinese buyers and sellers.

As an online exporter with limited presence in the market, strong customer service throughout the order and delivery process is critical to customer satisfaction.

This requires a large amount of stock to be purchased and warehoused at all times in order for the company to fulfil all orders in a timely manner, which places pressure on the company’s cash flow.

With a significant proportion of cash flow tied up in inventory, as well as suppliers often requiring payment in advance of goods being dispatched, CarePlus has a need for additional working capital to deliver on orders and continue to grow. 

Efic provided a A$300,000 export working capital guarantee facility to the company’s bank, allowing the bank to release the funds as needed to CarePlus to support the prepayment of stock and freight costs associated with the rapidly expanding business.

The free trade agreement helps. First of all, it opens the eyes of the Chinese and lets them know Australia is open to them. It is easier for business people to come over to Australia, to see the products, to buy the products. Secondly, more and more Australian companies are now willing to place their products into the Chinese market. - Patrick Liu, CarePlus, NSW-based online health supplier