MediaCorp, one of Singapore’s two largest media companies, has poured $40 million into Reebonz in a deal that values the designer brand flash-sales site at about $200 million. This is the first time that MediaCorp has invested in an online retailer, according to a story on Channel News Asia (a site that is also owned by MediaCorp).
The media conglomerate hopes that Reebonz will help it tap into the Asia-Pacific region’s booming e-commerce market, which eMarketer says will make $1.3 trillion in 2013, leading the world in B2C online sales.
“We see great alignment between what Reebonz does and what MediaCorp has–audiences, content targeted at the luxury market and our star power. We are confident that by collaborating closely with Reebonz, we’ll see even more breakthroughs from the retailer,” MediaCorp CEO Shaun Seow said.
Reebonz was founded in 2009 and has raised a total of about $79.7 million from investors including Vertex Asia Investments, GGV Capital, Intel Capital, Matrix Partners China and Infocomm Investments.
MediaCorp’s investment in Reebonz is notable because it follows its main rival Singapore Press Holding’s decision to take a $1.4 million, or 27.8% stake, in restaurant booking site Chope. Both companies are much better known for operating newspapers, magazines and other traditional media outlets than investing in startups.