Singapore’s HipVan raises $3.3m Series A from Golden Gate Ventures, East Ventures

Visual from Hipvan's social media page

Online designer furniture store, HipVan has raised a Series A funding to the tune of S$4.7 million ($3.32 million) and the round was led by Singapore-based venture capital firm Golden Gate Ventures (GGV).

The Series A funding round also witnessed participation from East Ventures, Toivo Annus, LionRock Global, and other individual investors including the managing director and CFO of Barclays Asia Pacific whom the venture firm did not disclose.

This is HipVan’s second funding round in the two and a half years of establishment, following its S$1.65 million ($1.17 million) seed funding last July. The company’s total funding to date is S$6.35 million ($4.49 million).

GGV founding partner Vinnie Lauria will join HipVan’s board of directors, as part of the firm’s investment. This deal is GGV’s largest investment by far.

“I can’t comment on the specific amount, but as the lead investor, we are the majority investor in this round,” he told DEALSTREETASIA.

Lauria met HipVan chief executive officer Danny Tan in 2011 when the latter was speaking to a group of undergrads at Hackerspace and rallying them to follow their passion.

“(He has) gone through the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur and is the type of experienced entrepreneur we love to back,” he said, adding that the firm believes in the future of e-commerce in Southeast Asia.

“The whole founding team is deeply product and data driven, which fits right into our investment strategy. This is why we are happy to announce our investment in HipVan as our single largest investment to date.”

In his emailed comments to DEALSTREETASIA, Tan said the funds will be utilised for further expansion to support the company’s growth trajectory.

“It will be used to grow all aspects of our business but in particular, our private label selections as that has been a huge growth driver for us in the past six months,” he said.

Tan shared that HipVan’s revenue grew a whopping 370 percent between January and August this year, compared to the same period in 2014.

Besides its new investors, existing investors made follow-on investments through this Series A funding, taking up a third of the funding round.

“We’re particularly happy that many of our early investors are doubling down on HipVan, especially Toivo Annus who had since tripled his initial investments. We will continue to work hard to repay the faith that our investors, team members and customers have placed in us.” Tan said.

Annus was the technical co-founder of Skype who led HipVan’s seed funding round and has also invested in a number of B2C online retailers.

Since the last round of funding, HipVan now has over 150,000 online shoppers at its store every month and has also greatly enhanced its product offerings and prices through opening direct sourcing from manufacturers.

On the team expansion, HipVan has also added senior hires from large furniture producers, KPMG, Zalora and Groupon.

Founded in April 2013, HipVan is Singapore’s leading online store for designer furniture, home furnishings, and lifestyle products.

As of August 2015, HipVan offers over 20,000 products in furniture, home & living, kitchen & dining, bedroom, lighting, decor, bath, home appliances, lifestyle and kids categories, through its web store and iPhone application.

HipVan was founded based on the belief that creating a dream home should be made simple and easy, with the largest selection at accessible prices, at all times, Tan said in the press statement.

“The biggest opportunities in e-commerce today target the emerging segment of internet savvy consumers in their late twenties onwards with high disposable income. We believe this is the perfect time to build the “next IKEA” online with a much wider product selection, and a more efficient business model that lets us pass on savings to the customers,” he added.

Also read: 

Series A investments in ASEAN tripled in 2014: Golden Gate Ventures

EXCLUSIVE: Golden Gate Ventures to raise $50m in second fund

Golden Gate reaches $35m first close on $50m fund

Malaysia’s Cradle to co-invest $7m in four firms

Online grocery store RedMart launches Marketplace for independent sellers

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.