MarqVision Founders Q&A

Exclusive Interview with MarqVision – Can AI Solve The Huge eCommerce Counterfeit Problem in 2022?

Whether you are buying or selling online, the issue of counterfeit products is rife across the whole eCommerce landscape. MarqVision a new startup company founded by Mark Lee is aiming to help solve the counterfeit problem by using the latest in AI technology. Here at eSeller365, the issues regarding counterfeit products come up pretty regularly and even eCommerce giants like Amazon haven’t yet found a foolproof solution to fakes and counterfeits on their many marketplaces.

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This is where Mark Lee comes in, Mark brings a problem-solving mindset, entrepreneurial passion, and a proven record of startup success. Mark established MarqVision in 2019 while earning his Juris Doctor at Harvard Law, and continues to take a hands-on approach in its global expansion. 

Prior to launching MarqVision, he earned a degree in economics from Harvard—graduating in the top 5% of his class—and co-founded Honest Fund, one of the largest fintech companies in South Korea. After growing Honest Fund to $1 billion in managed assets in just three years, Mark turned his attention to the major legal concern of brand counterfeiting and intellectual property theft.

He leveraged artificial intelligence as a scalable solution to a $3 trillion problem impacting businesses worldwide. Mark piloted MarqVision through the Y Combinator class of 2021 and a $5 million seed funding round led by SoftBank. Today he splits his time between South Korea and Los Angeles, focusing on every aspect of the business from operations and market growth, to tech development and product expansion.

Mark has agreed to a quick Q&A with us so that we can ask about the largest problems facing eCommerce businesses and counterfeit products and what he is doing to help. With that said let’s hand it over to Mark.

Interview with MarqVision Co-Founder Mark Lee

Q1. Some counterfeits are incredibly good in today’s world. How accurate is your AI in determining what is fake vs real?

A1. MarqVision’s computer vision-based AI model has a 97% accuracy, which means that for every 100 counterfeits reported, 97 of them get removed from online marketplaces. The secret to a high accuracy rate lies in MarqVision’s proprietary algorithm that looks at the behavioral patterns of counterfeiters.

For instance, counterfeiters have an incentive to sell fakes quickly to go unnoticed. The easiest way to do that would be to lower the price. Therefore, an abnormally low price could be a powerful indicator for determining authenticity. MarqVision looks at hundreds of data points to determine patterns like this. Simply looking at the outer appearance of fakes, especially online, is not the right way to approach the problem. 

Q2. The majority of our readers sell on Amazon and eBay, if a seller suspects a counterfeit on the marketplace, how do you get it removed?

A2. Amazon and eBay, as well as hundreds of other top global online marketplaces that MarqVision is integrated with, have robust IP protection protocols. MarqVision scans millions of product listings in online marketplaces daily and alerts the brand owners if fakes are found.

Brand owners can review those fakes in our dashboard and approve MarqVision to report those items to marketplaces. MarqVision uses a bot-reporting system to automatically report those fakes to respective marketplaces—our software and team of IP specialists do all the heavy lifting for brand owners. 

Q3. Many sellers are hesitant to expand fully globally due to the risk of counterfeiters. How does Marqvision aim to combat those fears for online sellers and enable business expansion?

A3. MarqVision covers 110 marketplaces in 24 different countries and allows brands/sellers to oversee enforcement globally in a single dashboard. By using MarqVision, brands can handle complex enforcement challenges and leverage local teams based in Asia to take down counterfeits. MarqVision even documents the level of individual counterfeiters’ activities on a world map.

Q4. When it comes to counterfeit products, often online marketplaces like eBay or Amazon end up in the news. But how much has this problem migrated to eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce? 

A4. Shopify’s platform is inundated with fakes and the problem is growing as more counterfeit sellers are joining the platform. Especially as eBay’s and Amazon’s IP reporting centers are getting better at processing claims from active monitors like MarqVision, more sellers are migrating to third-party platforms like Shopify.

Shopify is also beginning to tackle the problem by allowing consumers and sellers to report other potentially infringing activities happening in Shopify.  

Q5. In 2022 what do you anticipate to be the most problematic categories for counterfeits and what are the most commonly counterfeited categories you help sellers with?

A5. According to MarqVision’s Global Counterfeits Trend Report, 2021 (shown below) clothing is the most common product category for counterfeits based on gross volume, followed by bags and jewelry. In the clothing category, luxury fashion brands are experiencing the most severe problems as online marketplaces are increasingly becoming the most accessible channel to purchase counterfeited items.

MarqVision’s Global Counterfeits Trend Report 2021
MarqVision’s Global Counterfeits Trend Report 2021

Thank You To Mark Lee from MarqVision

We want to take this opportunity to thank Mark Lee for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions about MarqVision and the problem of counterfeit products in eCommerce. We also want to thank him for doing what he is in contributing a solution to the global problem thousands of sellers face globally.

If you think MarqVision would be a solution for your business then please check them out on their website and get in touch to discuss how their solution could help your business.

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This contribution is part of our Leadership Series, where industry professionals share valuable insights for small business owners selling online. The views expressed are the author’s alone.

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