RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Strength in numbers: iFashion Group is on the lookout for hot Asian e-commerce start-ups

It wants to aggregate businesses via M&As.

Southeast Asia’s start-up scene is crowded with a horde of tiny online retailers which are barely managing to make ends meet. Singapore-based iFashion Group wants to give these start-ups a stronger fighting chance by acquiring promising businesses and providing support for entrepreneurs.

“Our corporate strategy is to aggregate businesses via mergers and acquisitions in its sectors of interest to create synergy among the businesses. We are looking to achieve rapid growth through values of collaboration, co-existence and synergistic resource-sharing,” said Jeneen Goh, Managing Director of iFashion.

iFashion was founded by entrepreneurs Douglas Gan and Kin-Wai Lau. Douglas has sold four tech startups in the web and mobile space and is currently Co-Founder and CEO of Vanitee, an on demand beauty startup that raised $5m in its seed round. Meanwhile, Kin-wai is a tech entrepreneur and investor that has taken 4 tech companies public. He has built businesses across Asia and is currently the CEO of ASX-listed Fatfish Internet Group.

“The online fashion and lifestyle space is fragmented and overcrowded with small businesses. Many brands are operated by small teams with limited resources and most brand owners do not know how to scale their business beyond a certain size,” Goh said.

Brands who become part of iFashion Group receive support to scale their business and reach economies of scale in the shortest possible time. They also receive access to capital and guidance from an experienced entrepreneurial team, as well as support for the brand’s day-to-day operations.

iFashion received an initial round of funding from Rimu Group. Goh shared that the company is working towards listing on the ASX early in 2017, after which, it will continue with acquisitions to reach a target group revenue of $40 million.

“With iFashion, the belief is that ‘bigger is better’. The synergy from bringing multiple brands together will be the strong driver for growth for these individual brands,” Goh said.

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