Singapore-based online grocery company RedMart is close to raising a massive $100 million Series C round to expand its service across Asia. Two sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed to TechCrunch that the new funding is expected to close in the next one or two months.
RedMart did not respond to emails from TechCrunch seeking comment.
The company was founded in November 2011 to bring online and on-demand shopping to Singapore. To date, RedMart has raised over $50 million from investors like Garena, SoftBank Ventures Korea, Visionnaire Ventures, and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, with its most recent raise a $26.7 million bridge round in August of last year. Given the lack of Series C funds in Southeast Asia, this new round may well include institutional and strategic investors, but we haven’t been able to identify specific participants at this point.
The new financing will go towards expanding the company’s service into new markets in Asia, with Hong Kong likely to be the first port of call, potentially followed by Jakarta, Indonesia. RedMart CEO Roger Egan has been open about the company’s desire to grow overseas, but he and his team are adamant that the company must first lock down its business model in Singapore — a country of just five million people but a grocery market that Egan estimates to be worth $16 billion annually.
RedMart’s strategy is to operate its own logistics and warehouses, a model that it believes gives it greater control of the customer service cycle and will enable it to quickly venture into other verticals in the future. (RedMart did also launch an on-demand business, and a marketplace last year.) While it was arguably the first to pioneer online grocery sales in Southeast Asia, the landscape is more competitive today with venture capital-backed startups HonestBee ($15 million) and HappyFresh ($12 million) among a growing pack of rivals. RedMart has honed its model in Singapore over the past four years, but these two year-old competitors have taken a different route, quickly expanding across Southeast Asia, and to Taiwan and Hong Kong, with a more scalable model that involves third-party logistics and delivery services.
Now it seems it’ll soon be time for RedMart to step outside of Singapore and come into closer contact with these younger rivals and put its business model to the test outside in more traditionally emerging markets.