Indonesia’s Open Labs launches $100m fund to back D2C brands

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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.

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.