Rainforest, an e-commerce brand acquirer and aggregator based in Singapore, has raised US$36 million in a seed funding round. Operational since January 2021, the startup has already acquired three brands in the home and personal care categories.
The funding round consisted of US$6.5 million in equity financing, led by Nordstar with participation from Insignia Venture Partners, and a US$30 million debt facility from a US-based debt fund.
The company acquires consumer e-commerce brands, providing entrepreneurs a healthy exit, and invests in the acquired brands to grow them globally.
It focuses on brands in Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), the e-commerce giant’s service which provides storage, shipping and customer service for third-party merchants. Amazon’s third-party gross merchandise value grew 50% year-on-year to US$300 billion in 2020, with over 30% of the sellers based out of Asia.
Rainforest will use proceeds from the funding round to acquire promising Amazon FBA brands, invest in technology, and bolster recruitment efforts.
Chief executive officer JJ Chai says: “It’s a great pleasure to provide these entrepreneurs a cash exit. We’ll be working hard to take their brands to the next level, and hope to do the same for many more e-commerce entrepreneurs.”
Rainforest was founded in 2020 by experienced startup operators in commerce, marketplaces, and software as a service (SaaS). JJ Chai formerly led growth and strategy for Carousell, and was Airbnb’s former Southeast Asia managing director. Jason Tan, the chief financial officer, was former CFO at OVO and Fave. Per-Ola Röst, the chief technology officer, is an Amazon SaaS software entrepreneur and also an Amazon FBA seller.