SG e-commerce aggregator Una Brands raises $40m in 500 Startups-backed seed round

Una Brands Co-Founders (left-to-right) : Tobias Heusch, Kiren Tanna, and Kushal Patel.

Una Brands, a Singapore-based startup co-founded by Kiren Tanna, the founder of Foodpanda and ZEN Rooms, announced raising $40 million in a seed round backed by global investors including 500 Startups, Kingsway Capital, 468 Capital, President Capital, and Global Founders Capital.

The startup said it will use the fresh capital to acquire and scale e-commerce brands in the Asia-Pacific region, a market with more than 10 million third-party sellers. The focus will be on acquiring firms with strong independent branding that have annual revenue between $300,000 and $20 million.

It seeks to acquire businesses that sell across top e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Lazada, and Shopee, and complete each transaction in under five weeks.

The startup did not disclose the equity and debt ratio in the round, which also received backing from Maximilian Bittner, the current CEO of Vestiaire Collective and former CEO of Lazada.

With more than 10 million third-party sellers on regional platforms across Asia Pacific, there is enormous potential for growth for e-commerce-focused startups such as Una Brands

“The COVID lockdown created a huge surge in e-commerce demand, with a peak demand increase of over 100% in many cases. The lockdown encouraged many people to try shopping online for the first time and has created a behavioural shift in consumer habits,” said Una Brands CEO Kiren Tanna.

Sellers enjoy growing a business from the ground up, creating a brand, and growing a following but business owners often get bogged down in the operation process when their shops get beyond a certain size, Tanna stressed.

“They also often do not have the capital or expertise to take the brand to where they want to go. By partnering with Una Brands, brands can turbocharge their growth into new markets and channels,” he added.

Una Brands has already closed acquisition deals with several businesses in the region, according to Tanna, the former CEO of Rocket Internet 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.

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.