Malaysia-based wedding and baby e-commerce platform, Nuren Group, has raised over MYR252,000 ($67,700) via its equity crowdfunding (ECF) offer, on top of the recent $2 million Series A round it raised from Gobi Partners in March.
This is the region’s first venture-backed ECF offering, and Gobi Partners co-founder and managing partner Thomas G. Tsao opined that there would be more of such offerings coming out of the region going forward.
“This is history in the making; this is the first VC-backed startup which has also looked at raising funds through ECF. We believe this is the beginning of a big trend in this region,” he said at the launch on Friday.
Barely a minute after going live with its offer on Crowdo’s ECF platform, Nuren had achieved its targeted fundraise, Crowdo co-founder and chief executive officer Leo Shimada told DEALSTREETASIA.
The MYR252,150 raised, as at publishing time, is 126 per cent of the initial fundraising target of MYR200,000 ($48,200). The offering comes with an allowance for an oversubscription to raise a maximum of MYR300,000 ($72,300).
Nuren is offering post-money equity of up to one per cent, in convertible preference shares. The company has a pre-money valuation of MYR28 million ($6.75 million).
Founded in 2013, Nuren operates e-commerce sites Wedding.com.my and Motherhood.com.my in Malaysia, and Nuren.sg in Singapore.
Wedding.com.my and Nuren.sg are one-stop sites for wedding planning, while Motherhood.com.my caters to mothers, expecting mothers and babies.
Nuren founder and chief executive officer Petrina Goh said the pre-marketing for the ECF offering had been targeted at the e-commerce platform’s vendors, partners and some high net worth individuals.
“Gobi Partners had introduced us to Crowdo for this exercise, they encouraged us to create more brand ambassadors for Nuren, by getting our vendors and partners to be our investors as well,” Goh said of the decision to raise additional funds via ECF.
Nuren’s plans with the funds raised include increasing both vendors and brand exposures through online and offline platforms, drive transaction volumes, improve user experience and investing further in branding and technology.
“We are targeting $1 million in revenue this year and hope to triple the numbers in 2017,” she said.
While the bulk of Nuren’s revenue is still generated from its subscription base, it intends to build up its e-commerce platform.
The group intends to tackle the $18 billion wedding and motherhood industry in Southeast Asia, aiming to secure a 5 per cent market share of that. Particularly, Nuren’s game plan is charted in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.
“We want to grow our brand in both the wedding and motherhood segments in Malaysia and Singapore further, and will look at Thailand next and then Philippines in 2017,” Goh said.
Once the company has stable traction for its wedding and motherhood businesses, it is also looking to expand into the home and living verticals, Goh said.