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Love, Bonito bags US$13 million in funding, tightens omni-channel strategy

Love, Bonito, Singapore’s home-grown womenswear label has secured an additional US$13 million in Series B funding led by Kakaku.com, together with existing investor NSI Ventures.The new investment strengthens Love, Bonito’s bid to become Asia Pacific’s leading women’s lifestyle brand.

The additional capital will advance Love, Bonito’s direction in creating new community-based retail experiences, brought to life by integrating digital and brick-and-mortar channels.

This will be achieved by bolstering its product, data and engineering teams, building brand relevance in new markets across Asia Pacific as well as deepening its influence in existing markets.

With a current headcount of 80 team members, the fashion brand currently boasts both online and retail presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia, in addition to shipping internationally.  Incorporated in 2010, Love, Bonito After took on the challenging retail environment head-on in November 2017 with the opening of its first flagship store in Singapore.

This integration of ‘clicks and bricks’, which combines the growth and scalability of e-commerce with the brand impact of high-end retail location, was a strategic move to provide a more differentiated and personalised retail experience, guided by its philosophy ‘created for real women by real women’.

The company previously raised Series A financing from NSI Ventures in 2016, which was instrumental in moving Love, Bonito from a bootstrapped founder-led Singapore business to a fast-growing regional brand and more than doubled its sales. The company has worked closely with the institutional investor over the past two years to build a strong foundation and scale the business to the point where it is ready to receive additional expansion capital to accelerate its next growth phase.

“We look forward to benefit from Kakaku.com’s consumer and technology expertise and we are excited to continue to leverage NSI Ventures’ hands-on approach to helping companies scale globally,” Dione Song, chief commercial officer at ‎Love, Bonito said.

“The digital consumer is increasingly discerning, and we are confident that we will be able to provide an unrivalled retail experience across online and offline touchpoints seamlessly through our constant innovation,” she added.

According to the company, it’s average customer makes over four purchases a year and the average sell-through rate is over 70% within one month. In 2017 alone, the success translated into the delivery of more than half a million packages.  Co-founder Rachel Lim commented, “With our latest fundraising initiative, we will continue to strengthen our omni-channel strategy and create even more meaningful offline, in-store experiences that complement our online offerings to better serve our shoppers – the Love, Bonito woman.”

“We are extremely proud to be supporting Love, Bonito on the next chapter of its growth and expansion. Especially with the launch of its first flagship store in Singapore, it is redefining the fast fashion E-commerce landscape in Asia and how brands will engage with the digital consumer,” said Sugihara Genta, senior executive officer and GM at Kakaku.com.

“Moreover, the team behind the brand is bold and visionary, which allows them to take full advantage of their first-mover advantage and create even more novel online to offline retail experiences for their shoppers. Everyone at Kakaku.com is happy to support Love, Bonito and I am personally excited to start working closely with the management team.”

“The success Love, Bonito has achieved thus far truly validates the brand’s unique approach towards growing an engaged community both physically and digitally. Love, Bonito has a very strong business proposition and distinctive strategy in the fashion retail space, and we are confident in the opportunities the region has to offer,” Hian Goh, founder and general partner of NSI Ventures, said. “Love, Bonito represents the quintessential investment for NSI Ventures, as we successfully assisted talented founders in building a deep management team and scaling the product and user acquisition strategy. We will continue working closely with the Love, Bonito team and are excited to see what’s next in store.”

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