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Revolutionizing Neighborhood Shopping: The CityMall Phenomenon

CityMall: Revolutionizing Neighborhood Shopping

In the era of digital technology, everything we need is only a click away. Groceries, clothes, and even furniture can be ordered online and delivered straight to our doorstep.

However, there is still something missing in the seamless shopping experience – the physical and personal touch of local shops. This is where CityMall comes in.

In this article, we will delve into everything you need to know about CityMall, from the company description to funding history to the founder’s background.

CityMall Overview

Company Description

CityMall is a community-based mall that offers a modern twist on the traditional neighborhood store. The mall is carefully designed to cater to the needs of both the millennial generation and older generations.

CityMall provides a shopping experience that is interactive, experiential, and convenient. Instead of having large stores with endless aisles, CityMall has various kiosks with different merchants providing unique products and services.

This allows for a more personalized shopping experience.

Business Model

CityMall’s business model is anchored on three key principles: convenience, accessibility, and affordability. They aim to make life easier for customers by providing a one-stop-shop experience.

The mall’s kiosks are designed in a way that customers can quickly find what they need. The affordability principle is evident in CityMalls fair and reasonable pricing, as they aim to cater to families and people with a moderate income.

Lastly, CityMall ensures that the mall is accessible to all by locating malls in areas that people in the community can easily reach.

Funding History

CityMall had a seed funding round that raised $21 million in 2017. The funding round was led by Kamal Abu-Saif, an investor from the UAE.

CityMall also had a debt financing round with a fund manager in 2019, raising $15 million. CityMall announced that the funds would be used for the expansion and acceleration of the business.

Geographic Reach

CityMall is currently operating in the Philippines and has rapidly established a presence in eight cities across the country, with plans to expand into several other cities. CityMall is committed to providing a convenient and easy shopping experience to people living in small cities and towns where traditional malls do not exist.

Community Leaders


Community Leaders program is a key feature of their concept. They are leaders from the community – individuals who understand the needs and demands of the community, and who act as the voice of the mall.

They not only promote the mall but also provide feedback to the management regarding what the community needs.

Community Leaders have firsthand experience assisting people in their community with questions regarding the mall and can efficiently coordinate customer service issues.

CityMall has gone a step further by offering a commission-based model where

Community Leaders can earn by referring retailers to the mall.

Android App and WhatsApp Ordering

CityMall has a user-friendly app that allows customers to browse through products, schedule pickup or delivery, and checkout all in one place. Also, their customers can place their orders through WhatsApp, making shopping more accessible to different demographics.

CityMall Founders

Founders’ Background

CityMall was founded by President Ferdinand Sia and Vice President Mark Anthony Perez. President Ferdinand is the CEO of the Double Dragon Properties, a renowned public listed real estate company in the Philippines.

Vice President Mark Perez comes from a business background and holds an MBA from the University of Washington. The founders aim to provide the best shopping experience for the local communities while revolutionizing the shopping mall concept.

Importance of

Community Leaders

The founders felt the need for community leaders was crucial because of their deep understanding of the community’s needs.

Community Leaders provide feedback to the management team on what shops and services the community is interested in.


Community Leaders assist retailers who wish to establish a business within the mall, as they have to go through verification and approvals from the mall management.

Use of Peer-to-Peer Referral

CityMall implemented a peer-to-peer referral program that is exclusively available to

Community Leaders. This system offers a fixed commission to those who successfully recommend retailers to the mall.

This compensation involves a step-by-step process that sets it apart from other referral programs by providing commissions to

Community Leaders who successfully recommend retailers to the mall.

Seed and Debt Funding Rounds

To finance their rapid expansion, CityMall has had a seed funding round led by Kamal Abu-Saif in 2017, while also securing a debt funding round with a fund manager in 2019, which raised $21 million and $15 million respectively. The funds are earmarked for expansion and acceleration, and the company aims to expand and establish more malls within the region.


CityMall is setting a new standard for the shopping mall concept with their community-based approach. They provide the best customer service experience by creating a modern and accessible mall that corresponds to the needs of the local communities.

They make sure that the mall is affordable, convenient, and accessible to everyone. It is no wonder CityMall is rapidly expanding, offering an innovative shopping experience, and impressing customers along the way.

CityMall’s Growth Story

CityMall, a community-based mall, has seen rapid growth in recent years. This growth can be attributed to several factors, including COVID lockdowns that led to a surge in online sales, the expansion of product categories, increasing numbers of resellers and customers, and competition from other social commerce platforms.

Despite experiencing some setbacks, such as difficulties in entering the grocery space, CityMall has continued to grow and recently completed a series C funding round. However, to achieve this growth, the company has also had to make some tough choices, including downsizing its workforce.

COVID Lockdowns and E-commerce Surge

COVID-19 and the associated lockdowns have had a major impact on the way people shop. With physical stores closed or operating at limited capacity, e-commerce has become a critical channel for retailers.

In the Philippines, where CityMall operates, the pandemic has led to a surge in online sales. CityMall has been well-positioned to take advantage of this trend due to its community-based approach and its focus on providing a seamless shopping experience.

The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of local communities, and CityMall’s emphasis on community leaders has been a major competitive advantage.

Expansion of Product Categories

To further expand its reach, CityMall has been adding more products to its marketplace. Now, customers can find a wide range of items, from apparel and electronics to home goods and beauty products.

CityMall’s marketplace model allows it to offer a diverse range of products while keeping costs low. The company’s goal is to become a one-stop-shop for the local community, providing everything people need in one convenient location.

Increasing Number of Resellers and Customers

CityMall’s growth has also been fueled by an increasing number of resellers and customers. The company’s marketplace model allows anyone to set up an online store and start selling products.

CityMall provides the platform, marketing support, and payment processing, while resellers handle the product sourcing and order fulfillment. This model allows CityMall to rapidly expand its offerings without taking on the costs associated with holding inventory.

In addition, customers can order from multiple resellers in one transaction, saving time and money.

Competition from Other Social Commerce Platforms

While CityMall has been able to establish itself as a leader in the community-based e-commerce space, it is facing competition from other social commerce platforms. These platforms, such as Lazada and Shopee, offer a similar marketplace model but with a broader reach.

CityMall’s strategy is to focus on the local community and provide a personalized shopping experience that other platforms cannot match. CityMall’s emphasis on community leaders is another differentiating factor that helps to establish trust with customers.

Attempt to Enter Grocery Space

CityMall has attempted to enter the grocery space, recognizing that it is a critical area for growth. However, this has proven to be a challenging area for the company.

Grocery is a very competitive space, dominated by established players with deep pockets. CityMall has struggled to compete on price and selection, leading the company to rethink its strategy.

The company is still exploring ways to enter the grocery space, but it will need to find a unique approach to succeed.

Series C Fundraise and Workforce Reduction

Despite these challenges, CityMall’s recent growth and potential have not gone unnoticed. In 2021, the company completed a series C funding round, bringing in $22.5 million in new capital.

The funds will be used to accelerate CityMall’s growth and expansion plans, including the launch of new products and services. However, to achieve this growth, the company has had to make some difficult choices.

In June 2021, the company announced a workforce reduction of 30%, impacting around 200 employees. The company cited the need to streamline operations and focus on growth as the reasons for the layoffs.


Business Model


Business Model

CityMall’s business model is based on the marketplace approach, similar to other e-commerce platforms. However, the company’s focus on local communities and community leaders sets it apart.

CityMall provides the platform for local merchants to reach customers, and it handles payment processing and marketing support. Community leaders help establish trust with customers, acting as the voice of the mall and providing feedback to management on the needs of the community.

Role of

Community Leaders in Establishing Trust

Community leaders play a critical role in CityMall’s business model. They are local residents who understand the needs and preferences of the community.

Community leaders help to establish trust with customers by promoting the mall, providing feedback to the management team, and assisting retailers. Community leaders also provide a personal touch to the shopping experience, helping to differentiate CityMall from other e-commerce platforms.

Group Buying Mechanism

CityMall also employs a group buying mechanism to provide additional value to customers. This model allows customers to receive discounts by purchasing items in bulk.

Group buying is a popular approach in the Philippines, and CityMall’s model takes advantage of this trend, helping it to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Importance of Scale for Cost Savings

CityMall’s marketplace approach allows it to achieve scale and create cost savings. By leveraging its platform, marketing support, and payment processing capabilities, CityMall can provide services to a wide range of merchants without taking on the costs associated with holding inventory.

As the company grows and attracts more customers and merchants, it will be able to achieve even greater economies of scale. Engagement Strategies, such as Daily Horoscope Feature

CityMall has also employed various engagement strategies to keep customers coming back.

One example is CityMall’s daily horoscope feature, which provides customers with a personalized horoscope based on their birthdate. This approach helps to keep the platform top-of-mind for customers and provides an additional touchpoint for engagement.

Potential for Ad Revenue in the Future

Finally, there is potential for CityMall to generate ad revenue in the future. As the company grows and attracts more customers, it will become an increasingly attractive platform for advertisers.

CityMall could monetize this attention by offering targeted advertising solutions to merchants and other third parties. In conclusion, CityMall has experienced significant growth in recent years, due to factors such as COVID lockdowns, an expanding product range, and the use of community leaders.

However, the company is also facing competition from other social commerce platforms and has struggled to enter the grocery space. Nonetheless, the company has raised significant funding and is poised for further growth in the future, provided it can continue to differentiate itself and provide value to its customers.

CityMall Funding, Revenue & Valuation

CityMall, the community-based mall, has successfully attracted significant funding from various investors over the years. These investments have allowed the company to fuel its growth, expand its operations, and enhance its services.

In this section, we will delve into the total funding raised, notable investors, the company’s valuation after the Series C funding round, as well as its revenue and loss for the fiscal year 2021.

Total Funding Raised

Since its inception, CityMall has raised a substantial amount of funding to support its expansion efforts. As of the latest reports, the company has secured a total of $92.5 million in funding across multiple financing rounds.

This funding has been crucial for CityMall to develop its platform, establish its presence in multiple cities, and further strengthen its position in the market.

Notable Investors

CityMall has attracted investments from a wide range of notable investors. In its early stages, the company received a seed funding round led by Kamal Abu-Saif, an investor from the UAE.

This seed round raised $21 million and played a critical role in kickstarting CityMall’s operations. In subsequent funding rounds, CityMall secured support from both regional and global investors.

Notable investors include Kickstart Ventures, an investment subsidiary of Globe Telecom, one of the leading telecommunications companies in the Philippines. Kickstart Ventures participated in CityMall’s early-stage funding, recognizing the potential of the community-based mall concept.

Valuation after Series C Funding Round

CityMall’s most recent funding round, the Series C round, was completed in 2021 and proved to be a substantial success for the company. The round raised $22.5 million in fresh capital, allowing CityMall to accelerate its growth plans and expand its services.

As a result of the Series C funding round, CityMall’s valuation reached an impressive $150 million. This valuation reflects the confidence that investors have in the company’s business model and growth prospects.

CityMall’s valuation demonstrates that the market recognizes the value of a community-focused approach in the evolving retail landscape.

Revenue and Loss for Fiscal Year 2021

CityMall’s financial performance is a key indicator of its success and sustainability. While specific financial information for the fiscal year 2021 is not publicly available, it is essential to examine the broader trends in the company’s revenue and loss positions.

Like many startups, CityMall has focused on growth and expansion, prioritizing market share and user acquisition over short-term profitability. As a result, it is not uncommon for early-stage companies to experience losses during their early years of operation.

CityMall has acknowledged in past reports that it has incurred losses as it invests in its infrastructure, platforms, and expansion into new markets. However, the company may see a positive trend in revenue growth as it continues to grow its customer base and expand its product offerings.

The recent Series C funding round, which raised $22.5 million, indicates that CityMall has successfully attracted investors who believe in the company’s potential profitability in the future. Such investments provide the necessary capital for the company to invest in marketing, technology, and operational efficiency, all of which are factors that can contribute to improved financial performance.

It is worth noting that CityMall is operating in a competitive market, and profitability is a goal for the company. As the company continues to scale and optimize its operations, it will likely strive for profitability, leveraging its strong community-focused business model and expanding product offerings.


CityMall has secured substantial funding from a range of investors, supporting its growth and expansion plans. With a total funding amount of $92.5 million and a valuation of $150 million after the Series C funding round, CityMall has garnered attention and support from both local and international investors.

While detailed financial information for the fiscal year 2021 is not available, CityMall’s focus on growth and market share may have contributed to losses during its early stages. However, continued investments and the positive valuation indicate that investors see long-term potential in the company’s community-based approach and marketplace model.

With careful financial management, strategic expansion, and product diversification, CityMall can work towards achieving profitability and securing its position as a key player in the community-focused e-commerce sector. In conclusion, CityMall has experienced remarkable growth fueled by factors such as COVID-19 lockdowns, an expanded product range, increasing resellers and customers, and competition from other social commerce platforms.

Despite facing challenges in entering the grocery space, CityMall has raised significant funding and is poised for further growth. Its marketplace business model, with the support of community leaders, helps establish trust and engagement with customers.

The company’s focus on cost savings through scale, engagement strategies like the daily horoscope feature, and potential for ad revenue in the future all contribute to its success. With a strong funding history, valuation, and a commitment to community-based shopping, CityMall is on track to revolutionize the retail industry.

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