JD-backed Chinese e-commerce enabler GigaCloud buys US-based Wondersign

JD-backed Chinese e-commerce enabler GigaCloud buys US-based Wondersign

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Nasdaq-listed Chinese B2B e-commerce enabler GigaCloud Technology has acquired Wondersign—its latest acquisition in the US despite a recent short-seller hunt.

GigaCloud acquired a 100% equity interest in Apexis, the Florida-based corporation doing business as Wondersign, for a total cash consideration of $10 million.

While GigaCloud offers end-to-end B2B e-commerce solutions to large parcel merchandise, Wondersign is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that operates Catalog Kiosk, a digital catalogue software that allows retailers to display an endless aisle of products and better connect with omni-channel shoppers.

The acquisition will allow GigaCloud to leverage the network of Wondersign and accelerate its reach to brick-and-mortar retail stores in the US, said Larry Wu, GigaCloud’s founder, chairman, and CEO, in a statement.

“One of the key strategic advantages of this acquisition is the ability for us to launch an exciting new solution,” said Wu. The new product, dubbed the GIGA IQ™ package, is expected to enhance the transaction experience for both users of the firm’s existing B2B e-commerce platform GigaCloud Marketplace, and traditional retail customers from brick-and-mortar stores.

The deal marks the latest acquisition in the US by GigaCloud, whose marketplace connects manufacturers, primarily in Asia, with resellers across key markets including the US, Asia, and Europe for cross-border transactions.

In early November, GigaCloud completed its acquisition of Noble House Home Furnishings for about $85 million in cash. The Chinese firm purchased the California-based B2B distributor of indoor and outdoor home furnishings for its inventory, warehouse leases, websites and domain names, trademarks, patents, and sales channels, among other assets.

Short seller finds ‘numerous glaring flaws’ in GigaCloud’s reporting

The two recent acquisitions come as GigaCloud is beset with claims made in a September report by short-seller Culper Research that alleged “numerous glaring flaws” in the firm’s public reporting.

GigaCloud has said the report is “misleading” and that it “demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the company’s business and financial condition”. Its board of directors also authorised an independent review by parties including White & Case and FTI Consulting into certain claims, with a recently announced conclusion that the reviewed claims were not substantiated. 

Despite that, law firms including Bragar Eagel & Squire and Faruqi & Faruqi are investigating the claims against GigaCloud. 

GigaCloud, now headquartered in California, counts e-commerce giant JD.com, home furnishings store operator Red Star Macalline Group, venture capital (VC) major DCM, and Chinese investment firm Oriza Holdings among its main shareholders, according to its website.

The firm went public on Nasdaq in August 2022, raising net proceeds of approximately $34.2 million from its initial public offering (IPO).

Its latest financial results from August posted total revenues of $280.9 million in the first six months of 2023, up 18.8% from H1 last year. Its gross profit stood at $69.9 million in the period, up 106.% year-on-year.

As of September, GigaCloud counted a total of 24 warehouses globally, including 16 in the US.

Edited by: Pramod Mathew

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