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Love, Bonito bags US$50m in funding, eyes new verticals and markets

Love, Bonito bags US$50m in funding, eyes new verticals and markets

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Omnichannel womenswear brand Love, Bonito has raised US$50 million in its Series C funding, led by global investment firm Primavera Capital Group. Adastria and Ondine Capital participated in the funding as well. Love, Bonito’s current investors include Openspace Ventures and

The funds will be used to bolster efforts in existing omnichannel markets such as Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. A Love, Bonito spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that it plans to expand its communities in omnichannel markets through its extended category offerings and community outreach, and by strengthening its loyalty program with more relevant brand partnerships and collaborations. It will also look to enhance its technology and data infrastructure to support its growth.

At the same time, Love, Bonito will supercharge international expansion in markets that collectively are experiencing triple digits year-on-year growth, such as Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines and the US.

Most recently, the brand expanded into Hong Kong with a dedicated website, following the positive response from its pop-up shop at H Queen’s. The new website will offer pricing and payment in HK dollar, feature local best-sellers and allow returns that can be conveniently dropped at over 400 locations around the city. To celebrate the new website, Love, Bonito is took over Hong Kong’s iconic trams and hosted month-long giveaways on its Facebook page.

Rachel Lim, co-founder of Love, Bonito, said that she is excited for what is to come in the next decade. “The growth we see today would not have happened without #TeamLB and our #LBCommunity who consistently strive to support women in the different seasons of their lives. Being in the business of women has been our mission since day one, and we are finally venturing outside of fashion to bolster our offerings," she added.

Love, Bonito will also launch new business verticals, strengthen its local community engagement and key collaborations, and optimise user experiences. Plans are already in place to increase offerings within the fashion line to include active apparel and accessories, aligning with the brand's mission to empower the everyday Asian woman. 

Additionally, Love, Bonito is exploring categories outside of fashion as part of its plan to create a female ecosystem. It is looking to venture into a content platform titled LiBrary, and new categories (LaB) which will include wellness. According to a statement by Love, Bonito, the category and product expansion strategy is driven by data and community feedback garnered from several platforms, including its soon-to-be-launched AI that will deliver personalisation at scale for women globally, through data and machine-learning models. This will be in addition to its existing platforms LBCommunity+, Love, Bonito's loyalty programme, and LBCreate, the brand's social impact programme aimed to bring women’s issues to the forefront and create actionable steps for the future.

As part of its expansion to new verticals, Love, Bonito posted a job opening in July for its first venture lead. According to job posting, the individual will lead the launch squad and collaborate closely with cross-functional stakeholders and Love, Bonito's senior leadership to set the strategy, design the go-to-market and implement the roll-out. A quick search on LinkedIn by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE showed that Love, Bonito has yet to appoint a venture lead, but has closed applications for the position.

CEO Dione Song, who was appointed in April this year, said that the brand has built a strong foundation in understanding the everyday Asian woman in order to be preemptive in catering to her needs. “We are primed to become a true life partner for our community of women, in and beyond fashion. We have yet to see a womenswear brand from the region stand proud on the world stage amongst industry heavyweights and we want to be the first brand to achieve that, by being purpose-driven, community-focused and innovative. We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to our existing and new investors who bring deep consumer investment experience and recognise the potential of the Asian consumer, both within and outside of the region,” she added.

In its next phase of growth, Love, Bonito said it aims to shake up the fashion industry by creating a more meaningful impact on its community across all life stages. It also plans to create a thoughtful and well-rounded female ecosystem, supporting different facets of women’s needs within Asian countries and reaching further into the Asian diaspora communities across the globe. 

Since its launch in 2010, Love, Bonito has expanded to 10 markets in Southeast Asia, East Asia, Australia and the US. 

Separately, Love, Bonito partnered with Mattel to offer a limited-edition collection of Barbies for select markets in Asia including Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong and Indonesia. Titled “Dream It, Do It!”, the collaboration aimed to inspire young girls and women to believe in themselves and be empowered to pursue their limitless potential.  Each doll came with a Barbie-sized apparel assortment based off Love, Bonito’s The Staples collection. The brand also worked closely with Barbie to curate the body types – petite, curvy, original and small bust. Love, Bonito worked with Ogilvy Singapore for PR efforts around the Mattel partnership.

Catch Dione Song, CEO of Love, Bonito at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's Digital Marketing Asia conference happening from 9 November 2021 - 25 November 2021 to learn about the upcoming trends and technologies in the world of digital. Check out the agenda here. 

Related Articles:
Love, Bonito makes its HK launch felt with OOH campaign and branded Octopus cards
Love, Bonito dresses Barbie to inspire young girls with limited-edition collection
Love, Bonito eyes new vertical as it hunts for first-ever venture lead
Love, Bonito picks former marketer Dione Song as CEO, first in company's 11-year history
Love, Bonito looks to refresh brand with 72andSunny Singapore

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