The Philippines’ online-to-offline (O2O) parenting platform edamama has closed its Series A+ financing, bringing the total funds raised by the company so far to $35 million.
The fresh investment was led by the Ayala Corporation Technology Innovation Venture (ACTIVE) Fund, the largest venture capital fund in the Philippines, which is managed by Kickstart Ventures and backed by Ayala Corporation (AC) and its subsidiaries.
Existing backers Kickstart Ventures, Gentree Fund, and Innoven Capital participated in the round, alongside new investor and South Korean retail giant GS Group, according to an announcement.
In August last year, edamama had raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by the Jakarta-based venture capital firm Alpha JWC. Gentree Fund, Robinsons Retail Holdings, Kickstart Ventures, Innoven Capital, Foxmont Capital Partners, and angel investor Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng had also participated.
Edamama said it will utilise the funding to further fuel the company’s expansion plans, including expanding its offline retail footprint across the country. The firm is set to launch a new store at Ayala Vertis North before the year-end, which will mark another milestone after it launched offline stores in Robinsons Magnolia and Robinsons Manila malls earlier this year.
edamama was launched in May 2020 by husband-and-wife founders Nishant D’Souza and Bela Gupta.
“We are excited to strengthen our collaboration with the Ayala ecosystem with this strategic investment from ACTIVE Fund, especially to unlock further synergies across the Ayala Malls network as we expand our physical stores nationwide next year,” said Nishant D’Souza, co-founder of edamama, in a statement, adding that the funding will also accelerate the startup’s offline roll-out and private label product development.
The startup has pioneered multiple market-first parenting innovations, including the country’s first online gift registry, subscription services for everyday essentials, and an integrated portal for content and services.
New hires for leadership team
Along with the investment update, edamama also announced four new key hires in its leadership team—Miguel Fernandez who joined the firm’s board of directors; Rohan Aggarwal, who was appointed chief commercial officer; Rachit Gupta as senior commercial director; and Donna Manalastas, who was appointed as offline retail director to oversee edamama’s offline business.
The four new executives have held senior leadership positions in notable tech and retail companies. Fernandez is a former top executive at Coupang, Amazon, and Dell, while Aggarwal was previously the director of mobile business at Flipkart.
Gupta is a former executive at Flipkart and Snapdeal while Manalastas has an extensive background in establishing and expanding Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy’s (LVMH) Benefit Cosmetics in the Philippines.
“We have made great strides in scaling our operations while improving unit economics over this past year. These appointments will further bolster our goal of delivering an industry-leading experience for parents in both the digital and physical retail worlds,” said Bela Gupta D’Souza, Co-Founder of edamama.