Online community theAsianparent raises Series C to add e-commerce and expand into new markets

TheAsianparent, Southeast Asia’s largest online community and content platform for mothers with 23.5 million monthly active users, announced today that it has raised a Series C led by Fosun Group, the Chinese conglomerate. The amount was undisclosed, but a person familiar with the deal says it was between $10 million to $30 million. E-commerce giant also participated, along with ATM Capital, Redbadge Pacific and returning investors Global Grand Leisure and WHG Holdings.

The new funding will be used on theAsianparent’s new e-commerce business and its expansion into new markets in Asia and Africa, focusing first on Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. Roshni Mahtani, the founder and CEO of Tickled Media, theAsianparent’s publisher, tells TechCrunch it looks for countries with high birth rates but relatively few online resources and communities for new parents. The site will have its own branding for African markets and launch first in Nigeria with localized content and a social network.

TheAsianparent, which currently has a team of 180 people across 12 countries and is headquartered in Singapore, will focus on building its e-commerce business in Asia markets first, specifically Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore, with providing advice on things like logistics. TheAsianparent will start selling products through its site and launch its own direct-to-consumer brand later this year.

“The way I see it is that for media companies to be relevant, you need to have content, community and commerce, so that it becomes very easy for consumers to trust you for content and community, and also be able to buy products that you recommend and that have been created for their communities,” says Mahtani, who launched theAsianparent as a parenting blog in 2009.

TheAsianparent’s mobile app, which includes articles, community features and baby development trackers, launched in September 2018, has been installed 1.6 million times so far. Mahtani says the theAsianparent had a traffic growth rate of about 70% before funding and expects it to increase by a much faster rate now. It is expected to make $10 million in revenue this year and reach $100 million within the next five years.

In a prepared statement, Wilson Jin, the chairman of Fosun RZ Capital, said “TheAsianparent, as the largest maternal and child community in Southeast Asia, has won the trust of young mothers in Southeast Asia and has a huge commercial space. In the past few years, theAsianparent has fully verified its business development and product evolution capabilities , it is an outstanding entrepreneurial team.”