Singapore eCommerce Aggregator Rainforest Raises $36 Million In Seed Round

Singapore, ecommerce, rainforest, seed funding, aggregator, Amazon

Singapore eCommerce brand aggregator Rainforest has raised $36 million in a seed funding round that included $6.5 million in equity financing, The Edge Singapore reported.

The funding was led by Nordstar, with participation from Insignia Venture Partners. The round also included a $30 million debt facility from a U.S. debt fund. The startup plans to use the fresh capital to acquire and expand digital-native brands, according to the article.

Rainforest was launched in January by executives from Carousell, Airbnb and Fave. JJ Chai, previously the senior vice-president of growth and strategy at Carousell, will serve as Rainforest’s chief executive officer. Chai was also a managing director for Airbnb Southeast Asia and India.

Jason Tan, former chief financial officer at Fave and OVO, is Rainforest’s CFO. Per-Ola Röst, software entrepreneur and a seven-figure Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) seller, will serve as the company’s chief technology officer, according to the news outlet. Ole Ruch, managing director of Nordstar Partners, said the company knows Chai from Airbnb and that the executive is known as “one of the strongest operators” in Singapore.  

Rainforest assists third-party merchants with shipping, inventory storage and customer service. Third-party gross merchandise value (GMV) escalated to $300 billion in 2020, up 50 percent year on year. More than 30 percent of the sellers are based in Asia, The Edge Singapore reported.

Chai told TechCrunch that Rainforest raised debt financing with plans to buy up as many as a dozen brands sold through Amazon’s B2B service, FBA. Rainforest has so far acquired three brands for about $1 million each. 

Massachusetts startup Thrasio has made a business out of buying Amazon FBA companies, and has acquired some of the platform’s top sellers. In July 2020, the company raised $260 million in a Series C round led by global private equity investor Advent International.