Singapore fashion brand Love, Bonito raises $50m from Primavera Capital, others

Love, Bonito senior leadership team. Source: Love, Bonito.

Singapore-based womenswear company Love, Bonito has bagged $50 million in a Series C funding round led by China-based private equity firm Primavera Capital Group.

The deal marks the first Southeast Asia investment by Alibaba and ByteDance-backer Primavera. 

Other investors that participated in the round include Japanese retail group Adastria and China-based venture capital firm Ondine Capital.

According to the startup’s filings with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), British Virgin Islands-based Merga Investments, which is understood to be a vehicle of Primavera Capital, bought Series C preference shares for $38.83 million.

Adastria invested $10 million in the round, while Ondine put in $1 million.

In its statement, Love, Bonito said the fresh funds will go towards its overseas expansion. Its fastest-growing markets are Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, and the US.

The company, which started out as a blog shop in 2005 called Bonito Chico before rebranding in 2010, operates in seven other countries — Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia.

It will also use the capital to expand its product range to include activewear and venture into content creation.

“Primavera is deeply impressed by how much the team has achieved over the last decade and looks forward to tapping into our understanding and experience in the global consumer sector,” the PE firm said in a statement.

Love, Bonito’s other investors include Singapore-based venture capital firm Openspace Ventures and Japan-based price comparison website Kakaku.com.

The startup claims to have grown over 120% year on year in its international markets and 208% in online sales. It faces stiff competition from global fast-fashion retailers such as Shein and Boohoo.

Love, Bonito had last disclosed raising $13 million in February 2018.

According to DealStreetAsia’s DATA VANTAGE, it recorded $19.66 million in revenue in 2020, down about 13% from a year ago. Its net loss came down by nearly 17% to $2.86 million.

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.