PH startup Great Deals E-commerce raises $30m Series B from Fast Group, CVC, Navegar

Steve Sy (left), Founder & CEO of Great Deals E-commerce Corporation and William Chiongbian II, Group President and CEO of Fast Group.

Great Deals E-commerce Corp, a Philippine-based e-commerce enabler founded by Alibaba eFounders fellow Steve Sy, has raised $30 million in its Series B funding round led by local logistics company Fast Group.

The funding round, which followed the startup’s $12-million Series A fundraise in January 2020, also saw participation from private equity major CVC Capital Partners, which holds a 40% stake in Fast Group.

Local PE firm Navegar, which invested $12 million in Great Deals’ Series A round, also joined the funding round. Rocket Equities, a corporate finance and M&A advisory firm for fast-growing mid-sized companies in Southeast Asia, advised Great Deals on both its Series A and B fundraising.

Great Deals will use the growth capital to construct an automated fulfilment centre and for tech development, which it said are critical to meeting the growing e-commerce demand in the country.

Sy, the company’s founder and CEO, recognised that the Philippine logistics industry is by far the toughest in the Southeast Asia region and impedes Great Deals’ e-commerce penetration outside of capital Manila.

“With this funding and strategic support from our new investors, this opens new opportunities to drive forward Instant Commerce — delivery under one hour, wherever you are. We can reach and serve more Filipinos faster and safer,” Sy said.

Fast Group, the lead investor in this funding round, is one of the country’s largest logistics companies. It has a workforce of more than 11,000 spread across 53 branches nationwide and boasts over a million square meters in warehouse footprint and a distribution network of close to 90,000 stores.

In December 2020, CVC Capital Partners acquired a 40% stake in the company for about $124 million, marking its third investment in the Philippines.

Great Deals, founded in 2014, addresses the needs of brands seeking to venture online. The firm said it provides end-to-end services, handling everything from digital content, web design, analytics, and chat support to warehousing and fulfillment.

In 2018, the company despatched 114,165 orders in one day and surpassed that figure in 2019 by fulfilling 233,038 orders in 2019. Its clients include multinational companies Reckitt Benc, Nestle, Samsonite, Reebok, Crocs, L’Oreal, Abbott, and Unilever.

As an Alibaba eFounder fellow, Sy had first-hand exposure to e-commerce and digital innovations, access to business leaders across Alibaba and China, among others.

The eFounders Fellowship programme is jointly organised by Alibaba Business School and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.