Former Carousell, OVO execs launch e-commerce brand aggregator Rainforest with US$36M seed funding

(L-R) Rainforest CEO JJ Chai, Brand Manager Jerry Ng, and Business Operations & Strategy Director Elita Subaja

(L-R) Rainforest CEO JJ Chai, Brand Manager Jerry Ng, and Business Operations & Strategy Director Elita Subaja

Rainforest, an e-commerce brand aggregator, has officially announced its launch with a seed financing round of US$36 million.

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 an undisclosed US-based debt fund.

Rainforest will use the funds to acquire promising Amazon FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) brands, invest in technology, and hire top talent to join their Singapore-headquartered and globally distributed team.

Also Read: Ex-CEO of Rocket Internet Asia launches new e-commerce venture Una Brands with a US$40M seed round

Rainforest was founded in 2020 by experienced startup operators in commerce, marketplaces, and SaaS. JJ Chai (Rainforest CEO) formerly led growth and strategy for Carousell and was Airbnb’s former Southeast Asia Managing Director. Jason Tan (CFO) was former CFO at OVO and Fave. Per-Ola Rost (CTO) is an Amazon SaaS software entrepreneur and also a 7-figure Amazon FBA seller.

As an e-commerce brand aggregator, Rainforest acquires consumer e-commerce brands, providing entrepreneurs a healthy exit. It also invests into the acquired brands to grow them globally.

The company will be initially acquiring Amazon-native brands from brand owners globally, focusing on Asia-based Amazon FBA sellers. Its mission is to fulfil the potential of microbrands, growing brands with great products to delight customers worldwide.

Amazon’s third-party GMV was US$300 billion in 2020, growing at 50 per cent year on year. With over 30 per cent of the top third-party sellers based out of Asia, Rainforest is well-positioned to acquire these brands and scale them faster while providing sellers with an attractive exit opportunity.

Operational since January 2021, Rainforest has acquired three brands to date in the home and personal care categories. “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,” said CEO Chai.

Also Read: Why brands fail on e-commerce and what they can do about it

Coincidentally, Singapore also witnessed the rollout of another e-commerce brand aggregator today. Una Brands, started by former CEO of Rocket Internet Asia and founder of foodpanda and ZEN Rooms Kiren Tanna, has also raised US$40 million in seed funding.

Image Credit: Rainforest

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,Former Carousell, OVO execs launch e-commerce brand aggregator Rainforest with US$36M seed funding | e27
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