Una Brands, a Singapore-based startup providing a “fast and fair way” for e-commerce business owners (vendors) to sell their companies, has raised US$40 million in a seed round of equity and debt financing.
Investors include 500 Startups, Kingsway Capital, 468 Capital, Presight Capital and Global Founders Capital.
Maximilian Bittner, the CEO of Vestiaire Collective, and Khailee Ng, Managing Partner at 500 Startups, also participated in the round.
With the fresh funding, Una intends to buy and scale e-commerce brands based in the Asia Pacific region. It will focus on acquiring brands with strong independent branding that have annual revenue between US$300,000 and US$20 million.
Una Brands was founded in 2020 by Kiren Tanna, the former CEO of Rocket Internet Asia and founder of foodpanda and ZEN Rooms. His co-founders are Adrian Johnston, Kushal Patel, Tobias Heusch and Srinivasan Shridharan.
Una Brands buys businesses with a long-term competitive advantage and strong brands and grows them in new markets and on new platforms. It is platform-agnostic and acquires businesses across leading e-commerce platforms, including Amazon, Lazada, Shopee and Shopify.
The company claims it is capable completing the end-to-end transaction process in under five weeks and offers flexible structures to take into account the personal objectives of the seller.
Tanna sees enormous potential for growth in the region. “We estimate that there are more than 10 million third-party sellers on regional platforms across APAC. The COVID-19 lockdown created a huge surge in e-commerce demand, with a peak demand increase of over 100 per cent in many cases. The lockdown encouraged many people to try shopping online for the first time and has created a behavioural shift in consumer habits.”
He added that Una Brands can help progress companies to the next level: “When we speak to sellers, they often say to us that the thing they really enjoy is growing a business from the ground up, creating a brand, and growing a following. When a business gets beyond a certain size, the business owners find that they do not have the time to do what they love as they get bogged down in the operational process. They also often do not have the capital or expertise to take the brand to where they want to go. By partnering with our company, brands can turbocharge their growth into new markets and channels.”
Una has already closed acquisition deals with several businesses in the region.
“Ultimately, with this new round of investment, we want to scale our business very rapidly in the region. We aim to become the biggest online retailer in APAC,” concluded Tanna.
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