Indonesian beauty platform Sociolla in talks to raise up to $150m at unicorn valuation

Sociolla Co-Founder Chrisanti Indiana

Indonesia’s Social Bella, known for its e-commerce brand Sociolla, is in talks to raise up to $150 million in a funding round that could value the omnichannel retailer of beauty products at over $1 billion, according to sources privy to the matter.

DealStreetAsia has learnt that the company has roped in at least three new global investors — a private equity firm, a sovereign wealth fund, and a growth fund. The sources declined to disclose the names of the investors. All its existing investors, including PE firm L Catterton, Singapore’s Temasek, EV Growth and Jungle Ventures, among others, are also learnt to be participating in this round, which is expected to close in the next couple of weeks.

The company had not replied to DealStreetAsia’s queries at the time of publishing this report.

Social Bella had last raised funding in May in an 818 billion rupiah ($56.6 million) round led by consumer-focused private equity firm L Catterton. The round marked L Catterton’s debut investment in Indonesia, and the PE firm also joined Social Bella’s board following the investment.

At the time, Social Bella had said the capital would help it reach new customers, especially the Gen Z and millennial cohorts.

Social Bella was founded in 2015 to offer various beauty products — makeup, skincare, haircare, fragrance, and beauty tools — through its e-commerce platforms and brick-and-mortar stores. The company runs physical stores across 29 locations in Indonesia.

Besides its home country, Sociolla has started a regional foray by expanding to Vietnam in 2020.

It had closed its $40 million Series D funding round in September 2019, co-led by Singapore’s Temasek and EV Growth with participation from Sinar Mas Digital Ventures and Yahoo Japan’s YJ Capital.

According to data from Statista, revenues in Indonesia’s beauty & personal care market are set to grow from $7.46 billion in 2021 to $9.58 billion in 2025. Many brands are taking advantage of Indonesian women’s growing appetite for cosmetics, and the increasing number of internet users ordering online.

In another deal from Indonesia this week, NAMA Beauty, a direct-to-consumer cosmetic brand co-founded by actress Luna Maya, bagged $5 million in a seed round led by AC Ventures.

Unicorns aplenty

Sociolla was among the soonicorns — privately-held startups approaching $1 billion in valuation — identified in DealStreetAsia DATA VANTAGE‘s Private Capital Markets Report 2021 released last month. The report had pegged Sociolla’s valuation at $564 billion. The startup has so far raised $105.5 million in funding according to DATA VANTAGE.

If it enters the unicorn club, Sociolla will be the 20th startup from Southeast Asia to do so this year alone.

Unicorns minted in Southeast Asia by year

Source: DATA VANTAGE

Indonesia-based Ajaib, a wealth tech company akin to US-based Robinhood, was the latest to join the unicorn club following a $153 million Series B round in October. Ajaib is the 40th unicorn from SE Asia.

The fervent pace of unicorn minting this year is mostly on account of a fundraising spree. Private capital investors had funnelled at least $17.2 billion into homegrown venture-backed startups in Southeast Asia as of Sept. 25, already more than twice the $8.6 billion raised in the entire 2020, and on track to surpass $20 billion in total proceeds this year.

E-commerce firms like Social Bella were among the top fundraisers. Ninety e-commerce firms raised a total of $1.946 billion in the year (as of Sept .25), according to the Private Capital Markets Report 2021.

Fundraising by sector in 9M 2021

Source: DealStreetAsia – DATA VANTAGE

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.