Open Labs, an Indonesian brand aggregator, launched a $100 million fund to back local direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, per an announcement.
Open Labs will begin with buying 51% stake in local companies – instead of 100% like most aggregators do – allowing founders to have a role in the brand’s development.
Touted as the biggest fund among other brand aggregators in Southeast Asia, Open Labs seeks to invest capital and support the operational needs of D2C companies.
“The internet has changed the fabric of our economy in all sectors,” Jeffrey Yuwono, Open Labs CEO, said.
“This has created various businesses with a potential to become nationally known brands that needed qualified operational management to grow,” he said in a statement.
Before establishing Open Labs this year, Yuwono had a stint in online retail as the co-founder and CEO of Sorabel, making quality and affordable fashion accessible for everyone. The fashion e-commerce platform, however, had to shut down its operations last year during the peak of the pandemic.
With at least 14 million out of 64 million micro, small, medium enterprises in Indonesia entering the e-commerce space, Open Labs sees an opportunity to forge partnerships with young brands often overlooked by private equity firms or venture capitalists.
Yuwono said Open Labs evaluates potential companies in terms of their business scale, growth rate, profitability, industry leadership, and the commitment of its founder.
Open Labs currently has 60 experts in branding, marketing, customer services, value chain, logistics, financial manager, tax, and law. The company targets to have up to 150 experts going forward.