Singapore cashback app ShopBack acquires Rakuten-owned Ebates Korea

Team Shopback. Photo: ShopBack

Singapore-based rewards and discovery platform ShopBack has expanded into South Korea with the acquisition of the country’s largest online cashback platform Ebates Korea, according to a company statement.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. ShopBack said Ebates Korea will cease operations following the acquisition. Its users will be directed to ShopBack Korea’s beta platform.

ShopBack’s expansion into South Korea is strategic as the country is considered as one of the biggest e-commerce markets worldwide. The firm said the deal will strengthen its roster of merchants offering cashback in the country. It will now include major Korean brands Gmarket, Wemakeprice, and 11Street.

With the launch of ShopBack Korea in mid-2020, shoppers can make purchases through the platform and earn up to 15 per cent cashback on their purchases in categories like fashion, beauty, and electronics.

“We constantly evaluate new opportunities to connect with and serve more consumers, and acquiring Ebates Korea presents a unique opportunity to enter the South Korean market from a position of strength,” said Henry Chan, CEO and Co-Founder, ShopBack.

He added that the country’s digitally mature mindset and rapid adoption of e-commerce makes it “a core and high-potential market” for cashback platforms.

ShopBack acquires Ebates Korea from Rakuten, which invested in Singapore-based cashback platform’s $45-million Series B funding round last year.

The acquisition comes a month after ShopBack secured $75 million in an extended funding round led by Singapore’s state investor Temasek. The company earlier said that the extra capital will be deployed into enhancing ShopBack’s technology infrastructure and expanding data capabilities.

ShopBack has over 19 million users across its markets, offering cashback with its 2,000- strong merchant base across general merchandise, travel bookings, fashion, health and beauty, groceries, and food delivery.

In Singapore, the firm has branched into brick-and-mortar stores, allowing users to claim rewards for in-store shopping, dining, and entertainment.

“Launching ShopBack Korea will be a major step forward for us in fulfilling our mission to create a world of Smarter Shoppers,” Chan said.

ShopBack’s competitors include Sequoia India-backed Fave and Snapdeal. The Singaporean firm also competes with regional super apps such as Grab that offer rewards through their digital wallets.

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. 
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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.