Singapore: NSI Ventures backs $13m Series B in womenswear label Love, Bonito

Love, Bonito
A Love, Bonito store. Source: Love, Bonito

Singapore-based Love Bonito, a digital-first womenswear label, has announced the completion of a $13 million Series B funding round led by Japanese price comparison site Kakaku.com. The round was joined by return backer NSI Ventures.

Incorporated in 2010 by co-founders Viola Tan and Rachel Lim, Love, Bonito last raised Series A financing from NSI Ventures in 2016.

NSI Ventures is a unit of private equity firm NorthStar Group, which manages five funds with over $2 billion in assets under management (AUM). NSI Ventures itself has AUM in excess of $150 million. The latest investment was made from its first fund.

“The success Love, Bonito has achieved thus far truly validates the brand’s unique approach towards growing an engaged community both physically and digitally. Love, Bonito has a very strong business proposition and distinctive strategy in the fashion retail space, and we are confident in the opportunities the region has to offer,” Hian Goh, Founder and General Partner of NSI Ventures, said.

Its newest financial backer, Kakaku.com, is an online service provider with a diverse portfolio in multiple verticals, including shopping, food, travel, lifestyle and real estate that is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It led a $10.1 million Series B round in Singapore-based personal finance platform Moneysmart.sg in July 2017.

The latest financing round will see the women’s lifestyle brand integrate digital and brick-and-mortar channels, and beef up its product, data and engineering teams. It also plans to expand business operations in new markets and deepen its footprint in existing markets. Currently, it maintains a workforce of 80 staff and maintains a digital and retail presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia, in addition to shipping internationally. In November 2017, Love, Bonito opened its first flagship store in Singapore.

In a statement, Dione Song, Chief Commercial Officer at ‎Love, Bonito, said, “Much like how the perfect fit boosts a woman’s confidence, we are truly grateful for the vote of confidence from prominent investment players in our mission. We look forward to benefiting from Kakaku.com’s consumer and technology expertise and we are excited to continue to leverage NSI Ventures’ hands-on approach to helping companies scale globally.”

According to Love, Bonito, its average customer makes over four purchases a year and the average sell-through rate is over 70 per cent within one month. It claims it delivered more than 500,00 packages in 2017.

According to eMarketer projections, e-commerce sales in the Asia Pacific region are set to grow to $3.29 trillion by 2021. 

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