Amazon brand acquirer Rainforest bags $20m pre-Series A led by Monk’s Hill

The Rainforest team. [L-R] Elita Subaja, Business Operations & Strategy Director; JJ Chai, Co-founder & CEO; Jerry Ng, Brand Manager

Singapore-based Amazon brand acquirer Rainforest has raised $20 million in an oversubscribed pre-Series A funding round led by Monk’s Hill Ventures.

New investors January Capital, Crossbeam Venture Partners, Amasia, Lo & Behold Group and return backers Nordstar Partners and Insignia Venture Partners – joined the round. With this round, the total funding raised by the startup is over $50 million.

Proceeds from the round will be used to drive Rainforest’s aggressive growth strategy, including expanding its portfolio of e-commerce brands in the home goods, mother & kids, personal care and pet categories, and growing its leadership team through key hires.

By the end of 2021, the company plans to grow its current portfolio of e-commerce brands by three times. Rainforest has successfully acquired six Amazon brands in Asia so far, including a China-based brand for $3.6 million as part of its expansion into the country.

Furthermore, Rainforest has made two key senior hires, Yev Ivanko and Christine Ng, to drive the business forward in acquisitions, branding and marketing, product development, supply chain, operations, and strategy.

Ivanko serves as vice president of acquisitions and prior to Rainforest, he was the co-founder and CEO of NimbleSeller. Ng will take on the role of vice president, brands and she has held several executive roles at Shopbop, Luxola.com and ClassPass.

Rainforest last raised $6.55 million equity and $30 million debt in its seed round in May to acquire e-commerce brands from Asian brand owners. Accial Capital serves as the debt provider.

The Amazon brand acquisition space has been seeing big-ticket funding rounds. Just last week, UK-based Heroes raised $200 million to buy up more Amazon merchants while Berlin Brands Group, now valued at more than $1 billion, raised $700 million in the same week.

In June, India’s Mensa Brands had raised $50 million in a Series A funding round led by Accel Partners, Falcon Edge Capital, and Norwest Venture Partners.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore’s Una Brands raised $40 million in a 500 Startups-backed seed round to acquire brands across top e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Lazada, and Shopee.

According to Marketplace Pulse, nearly $1 billion in fresh capital (a mix of equity and debt) was committed in 2020 to firms — Thrasio, Heyday, SellerX, Boosted Commerce, Razor and more — looking to acquire Amazon sellers and brands.

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.