aCommerce Co. Ltd. announced today that it has closed a US$65 million Series B funding round. The company is Southeast Asia’s leading ecommerce enabler and e-distributor in four markets that enables over 260 brand clients such as Samsung, Unilever, Nestlé, L’Oreal, Philips and Mars to sell to the world’s fastest growing consumer markets. The newest funding round is led by Emerald Media, a pan-Asian platform established by global investment firm KKR to fund growth investment opportunities across Asia.
Participants to the round also include existing backers Blue Sky, MDI Ventures and DKSH, with North Ridge Partners advising. The US$65M investment in aCommerce will be channeled into:
1. Further augmenting the company’s brand-centric tech platform that allows clients to “plug in” and distribute through an integrated network of Business-to-Consumer (“B2C”) (e.g. online brand stores, e-marketplaces like Lazada and Shopee) and Business-to-Business (“B2B”) channels, with real-time data analytics;
2. Scaling strategic partnerships within the retail ecosystem in current markets: Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines; and
3. Enabling client expansion into new markets like Malaysia and Vietnam.
Given the rapid growth of the B2C market and retail industry in ASEAN, more brands are looking to launch on multiple channels to reach new audiences such as B2B that include specialty retailers, resellers, business-to-governments (“B2G”), and business-to-corporate employees (“B2E”).
“At the beginning of the region’s adoption of online, it was enough to simply have a website,” says Paul Srivorakul, aCommerce Co-Founder and Group CEO. “Fast forward a few years later and brands are realizing in order to stay ahead of the retail game, they need to be omnipresent and data-hungry to fully control all pricing and consumer touch points.”
“Customers want to reach their favorite brands at any time through any platform,” continues Paul. “Clients leverage our ecommerce expertise, data-driven approach, and local footprint to effectively distribute their products to become business-to-all.” aCommerce is the driving force behind some of the notable new B2B and B2E initiatives of global brands in ASEAN such as Samsung and L’Oreal. “Our platform covers the entire customer journey online, from product sample distribution, collecting customer data, to driving and attributing purchases across channels like the brand’s own webstore and the region’s top marketplaces.”
“Having a strong partner like KKR and Emerald Media with their years of investment experience in the region will provide capital and critical connections in content and demand generation across Southeast Asia, which we see a great deal of convergence in,” he adds. “We can provide our clients an even better level of transparency and accountability hard to find elsewhere.”
The region’s residents are moving to online shopping at an increasingly exponential pace, growing 32% year-on-year for the next 10 years according to research by Google and Temasek. The surge in online activities has caused giants such as JD.com, Amazon, and Alibaba to expand their presence in Southeast Asia’s retail market. In 2017 alone, brands such as Mars, Nestlé, and Unilever have all established a stronger official ecommerce presence with aCommerce across the region in addition to selling through existing offline channels.
aCommerce is an important part of the ecosystem by enabling these companies to collect and own valuable consumer data, develop strategic partnerships with the region’s top marketplaces/retailers, and access actionable data through its ecommerce market research arm, ecommerceIQ.
“What gives us confidence in aCommerce is the company’s highly brand-centric technology platform that enables clients to simply plug in and use all operating systems, channel distribution methods and demand generation applications across the region,” said Paul Aiello, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Emerald Media. “This provides new entrants a quick way to roll out multi-channel operations in these exciting markets without building large local operations.”
“In four short years, aCommerce has established itself as a leader in Southeast Asia working with the world’s top brands,” says Rajesh Kamat, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Emerald Media. “We look forward to accelerating the expansion of the business as a key player in moving Southeast Asia’s retail ecosystem forward.”