SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 invests $160m in babywear e-commerce platform PatPat

Photo by Jamie Coupaud on Unsplash

SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 has invested $160 million in PatPat, a global e-commerce website that sells baby and matching family outfits, barely a month after the startup raised $510 million from Chinese investors.

The investment, which is a Series D2 round in PatPat, brought the firm’s total fundraising amount to over $700 million, Chinese investment firm Index Capital announced on Tuesday. Index Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor to the deal.

PatPat, founded in Silicon Valley in 2014, roped in the Japanese conglomerate as a new investor after it had showcased the completion of its Series C and D rounds last month.

General Atlantic, China-focused private equity firm Capital Today, and CDH Shanghai Baifu Wealth Management, a unit of alternative investment firm CDH Investments, jointly led the Series C round. Its Series D round was led by billionaire Yuri Milner-led DST Global, with participation from General Atlantic, Ocean Link, and GGV Capital.

PatPat was founded by CEO Albert Wang and COO Ken Gao, both of whom graduated with a Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University and later worked together as principal engineers at US business software maker Oracle Corp.

The idea of launching an e-commerce website for children’s wear came to him, while Gao was expecting his first child and struggling to find functional and fashionable clothing options for his newborn. To capture the business opportunity, Gao joined hands with Wang to create PatPat under a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model to provide parents with a range of newborn baby clothes, children’s wear, matching family outfits, and home accessories online.

Prior to the Series C, and Series D rounds, PatPat raised 300 million yuan ($46.3 million) in a deal led by Sequoia Capital China. Its early investors also include IDG Capital and China’s FreesFund.

Besides Silicon Valley, PatPat operates from offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the US, as well Chinese cities including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, and Foshan. It also has local presence in Dublin, Manila, and London.

PatPat, which now delivers products to over 100 countries and regions, is one of the up-and-coming cross-border e-commerce companies backed by entrepreneurs who take advantage of China’s sophisticated apparel supply chain and mature logistics infrastructures to provide more cost-efficient products to the global market.

The rise of PatPat followed the footprint of another fast-growing Chinese online retailer, Shein. Nanjing-based Shein, started in 2008 by Chinese American Chris Xu as a wedding dress business, has grown into a fast-fashion superstar challenging market incumbents like Zara and H&M.

Backed by famed investors including Sequoia Capital China and Tiger Global Management, Shein is believed to have reached a valuation of up to $15 billion in 2020, according to a Forbes story.

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.