Singapore’s SCI Ecommerce closes $65.4m round backed by EDBI, others

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Southeast Asia’s cross-border e-commerce enabler SCI Ecommerce has closed an S$88 million ($65.4 million) financing round after raising fresh capital from EDBI and other investors, it said on Thursday.

In the first tranche of the round announced two months ago, the company had secured S$50 million ($38 million) led by Singapore-based private equity firm Asia Partners.

New investors subsequently joined the round, including the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB)’s global investment arm EDBI, US private asset manager Financial Investments Corporation, Philippine conglomerate A. Soriano Corporation, as well as investors from Asia, North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

SCI Ecommerce also counts Jubilee Capital, two Alibaba co-founders, Sam Goi’s family office, and several Asian ultra-high net worth technology entrepreneurs as existing backers.

“The expansion of our fundraising round is a strong endorsement of our integrated e-commerce business model, which already serves many of the world’s most iconic consumer brands. With these resources in hand, we look forward to investing in new technologies and capabilities to serve our clients, while completing our preparations to become our region’s first publicly traded e-commerce enabler,” said Joseph Liu Jiannan, Group CEO at SCI Ecommerce.

The round is likely to be SCI’s last private market financing ahead of an IPO. According to a Bloomberg report, SCI Ecommerce is planning a listing in New York as early as the end of this year with a market valuation of $1 billion.

In an interview with DealStreetAsia last year, Liu Jiannan had said that the company was looking at going public in the next 18 to 24 months.

Founded in 2014, SCI enables product and brand exposure on Southeast Asian e-commerce marketplaces like Shopee, Lazada, Qoo10, ezbuy, Tokopedia, Bukalapak, and Blibli, as well as major Chinese platforms including Alibaba’s Tmall Global, JD Worldwide, WeChat, and NetEase’s Kaola.

According to SCI, its revenue has grown more than 75x in over three years. It also claims to be cash flow positive and profitable since 2019, a rare feat among the region’s internet companies. The firm counts several global brand names as existing clients such as Unilever, Abbot, Stanley Black & Decker, Crayola, Nestle, Vinda, and Danone.

SCI signed on new brand partners during the last quarter, including 121-year old Singapore-based beverage company Yeo’s, Singapore-based wellness company Kinohimitsu, and Swiss computer peripherals company Logitech.

SCI also began a partnership with TikTok during this period, allowing the former’s brand partners to conduct sales directly through the short video app in Indonesia.

Other prominent e-commerce enablers in the region include Bangkok-based aCommerce, which is also gearing up for a local IPO; SGX Catalist-listed Anchanto, which is backed by Indonesia’s MDI Ventures; and Y Ventures Group, which went public in a S$7.7 million ($5.40 million) IPO on the SGX in July 2017.

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.