Love, Bonito Closes US$13m In Series B Funding
1 February 2018 – Singapore – Love, Bonito, Singapore’s home-grown digital-first womenswear label,announced today that it has secured an additional US$13 million in Series B funding led by Kakaku.com, together with existing investor NSI Ventures. The new investment strengthens Love, Bonito’s bid to become Asia-Pacific’s leading women’s lifestyle brand. The additional capital will advance Love, Bonito’s commitment to orchestrate new community-based retail experiences, brought to life by integrating digital and brick-and-mortar channels, thus changing the game for how E-commerce brands interact with consumers. This will be achieved by bolstering its product, data and engineering teams, building brand relevance in new markets across Asia-Pacific as well as deepening its influence in existing markets. With a current headcount of 80 team members, the fashion brand currently boasts both online and retail presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia, in addition to shipping internationally.
Rachel Lim, Co-founder of Love, Bonito shares, “Even as we scale for growth, we are committed to stay close and connected with our customers so we can nurture a community that inspires everyday women to discover and embrace the best version of themselves.”
Incorporated in 2010, Love, Bonito quickly made its mark on Singapore’s online fashion scene by perfecting the Asian fit. The company previously raised Series A financing from NSI Ventures in 2016, which was instrumental in moving Love, Bonito from a bootstrapped founder-led Singapore business to a fast-growing regional brand and more than doubled its sales. The company has worked closely with the institutional investor over the past two years to build a strong foundation and scale the business to the point where it is ready to receive additional expansion capital to accelerate its next growth phase.
"Much like how the perfect fit boosts a woman’s confidence, we are truly grateful for the vote of confidence from prominent investment players in our mission. We look forward to benefit from Kakaku.com’s consumer and technology expertise and we are excited to continue to leverage NSI Ventures’ hands-on approach to helping companies scale globally. The digital consumer is increasingly discerning, and we are confident that we will be able to provide an unrivalled retail experience across online and offline touchpoints seamlessly through our constant innovation,” said Dione Song, Chief Commercial Officer at Love, Bonito.
Love, Bonito has built a loyal and engaged community; the average customer makes over four purchases a year and the average sell-through rate is over 70% within one month. Love, Bonito’s brand strength is truly unparalleled in the Southeast Asian womenswear E-commerce scene, as evidenced by its industry leading unit economics with customer acquisition cost payback within first purchase and marketing spend below 10% of revenue. In 2017 alone, the success translated into the delivery of more than half a million packages.
With E-commerce sales in Asia-Pacific projected to grow 2.5 times to US$3,299.36 billion by 20211, the online space – once heralded as retail’s next frontier – is becoming increasingly crowded. After operating mainly online for seven years and running a series of profitable pop-up retail projects, Love, Bonito then took the challenging retail environment head-on in November 2017 with the opening of its first flagship store in Singapore. This integration of ‘clicks and bricks’, which combines the growth and scalability of E-commerce with the brand impact of high-end retail location, was a strategic move to provide a more differentiated and personalised retail experience, guided by its philosophy ‘created for real women by real women’. Lim commented, “With our latest fundraising initiative, we will continue to strengthen our omni-channel strategy and create even more meaningful offline, in-store experiences that complement our online offerings to better serve our shoppers – the Love, Bonito woman.”
“We are extremely proud to be supporting Love, Bonito on the next chapter of its growth and expansion. Especially with the launch of its first flagship store in Singapore, it is redefining the fast fashion E-commerce landscape in Asia and how brands will engage with the digital consumer,” said Sugihara Genta, Senior Executive Officer and General Manager at Kakaku.com. “Moreover, the team behind the brand is bold and visionary, which allows them to take full advantage of their first-mover advantage and create even more novel online to offline retail experiences for their shoppers. Everyone at Kakaku.com is happy to support Love, Bonito and I am personally excited to start working closely with the management team.”
"The success Love, Bonito has achieved thus far truly validates the brand’s unique approach towards growing an engaged community both physically and digitally. Love, Bonito has a very strong business proposition and distinctive strategy in the fashion retail space, and we are confident in the opportunities the region has to offer,” Hian Goh, Founder and General Partner of NSI Ventures, said. “Love, Bonito represents the quintessential investment for NSI Ventures, as we successfully assisted talented founders in building a deep management team and scaling the product and user acquisition strategy. We will continue working closely with the Love, Bonito team and are excited to see what’s next in store.”
1Asia-Pacific Retail and Ecommerce Sales: eMarketer’s Updated Estimates for 2017–2021
About Love, Bonito
Love, Bonito started out as a passion project in 2006 and has grown exponentially over the last 11 years to become the largest home-grown fashion brand. Based in Singapore, Love, Bonito ships internationally and has both online and retail presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia.
Love, Bonito believes that the right outfit has the power to inspire self-confidence. The brand strives to stay close and connected with their customers to understand what matters to them and in turn, helps the everyday woman to discover her unique self. Tried and tested by real women, the brand has perfected the Asian fit, delivered to customers with stylish designs, impeccable quality and at an exceptionable value.
Beyond fashion, Love, Bonito wants to provide a safe platform where everyday women can come together to experience and journey with each other and alongside the brand; a community that allows them to discover who they are and gain confidence to be the best version of themselves.
Founded in 1997, Kakaku.com Inc. is an online company with a diverse service portfolio across multiple verticals and has a proven track record of continued growth and high profitability. In recent years, the company has begun building a presence in Southeast Asia, highlighted by Priceprice.com, a product and price comparison site operating in four countries and a recent investment in Moneysmart.sg, Singapore’s leading comparison site for personal finance. Based on its mission to “provide services to help consumers make the best choices in life”, Kakaku.com will continue to invest in growth stage companies in Southeast Asia, with a focus on verticals such as money, lifestyle, travel or jobs.
About NSI Ventures
NSI Ventures is a Singapore headquartered VC fund and focuses on Series A and B investments in technology companies based in Southeast Asia. Key areas of investment for NSI include E-commerce, healthtech, fintech, edutech, consumer applications, cloudbased solutions and smart hardware. NSI is currently investing out of its second fund and has made four investments from its second fund to date. Across its first and second fund, NSI has invested in 19 companies, including Gojek, CXA, FinAccel, Topica, HaloDoc, Chope and Biofourmis. For more information, visit www.nsi.vc.