Una Brands raises $15m Series A co-led by White Star Capital, Alpha JWC

Una Brands co-founders (from left to right): Tobias Heusch, Kiren Tanna, and Kushal Patel.

Singapore-based e-commerce brand acquirer Una Brands has raised $15 million in a Series A funding round co-led by White Star Capital and Alpha JWC Ventures, according to an announcement.

Una’s existing investors, as well as Alvin Teo, co-founder of the last-mile logistics startup Ninja Van, joined the round, per its statement. The proceeds will be used to acquire e-commerce brands in the Asia Pacific region and strengthen its technology and team.

According to the firm’s filings with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), White Star invested $7.5 million in the round through three funds. Other investors in the round include Kingsway Capital, Presight Capital, Rocket Internet, and Global Founders Capital.

Ninja Van’s Teo contributed nearly $300,000 to the round.

The investors picked up Series A preference shares at $131.15 apiece. Una Brands’s share price has gone up more than three times since its previous round in May this year.

The latest round brings the total equity funding raised by the startup to $18.65 million and its valuation to nearly $65 million, according to data from DealStreetAsia – DATA VANTAGE.

Top shareholders in Una Brands

Source: DATA VANTAGE

“We started with a mission to acquire and grow great brands into enduring, well-loved, and global household names and we have made large strides towards this goal. With this raise, we will continue to invest in acquiring great brands, developing our multi-channel capabilities, expanding into our newly launched markets, and supporting our brands’ growth,” said Kiren Tanna, founder and CEO of Una Brands.

Una Brands focuses on acquiring top e-commerce brands on platforms such as Amazon, Lazada, and Shopee. It targets businesses in the Asia Pacific region with annual revenue of between $300,000 and $20 million.

These are usually direct-to-consumer brands that have created a strong independent brand but are hitting a ceiling on their growth. E-commerce acquirers such as Una help buy out these firms by providing the necessary capital or expertise to bring these firms to the next level.

“Digitally native brands in APAC is a secular trend growing at 4x the rate of those in the West. We believe Una Brands’ value proposition will resonate with brands across the region and further propel the growth of D2C in countries such as Indonesia,” said Jefrey Joe, managing partner at Alpha JWC.

According to Una, there are over 10 million third-party sellers on regional platforms in APAC, indicating enormous potential for such acquirers. The firm had acquired Bellaforte, an Australian drinkware company founded by 15-year old Australian entrepreneur Sam Richards for A$1 million last month.

Una Brands isn’t the only brand acquirer in town. Singapore-based Rainforest launched earlier this year with a similar thesis to acquire online brands. Global players such as US-based Thrasio and France-based Branded Group gained ground this year as well.

Most, if not all, have set their sights on China as the next battleground for buyout targets on Amazon.

Thrasio, which has raised $3.4 billion in equity and debt funding from global investors so far, expanded to China in early 2021, while Branded Group entered the market in May. Rainforest, meanwhile, was last reported by DealStreetAsia to be seeking to hire a general manager to lead its operations in the country.

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.