E-commerce aggregator Rainforest raises $20M just months after its last funding

Four months after its last funding announcement, Singapore-based e-commerce aggregator Rainforest has closed a $20 million pre-Series A round led by Monk’s Hill Ventures. Other participants included January Capital, Crossbeam Venture Partners, Amasia and Lo & Behold Group, along with returning investors Nordstar and Insignia Venture Partners.

Rainforest announced in May that it had raised $6.55 million in equity and a $30 million debt facility to fund acquisitions. The company says its latest raise means it now has more than $50 million to spend on acquiring e-commerce brands.

Founded by former Carousell and Fave executives, Rainforest buys mostly Asia-based Amazon brands and wants to become the e-commerce version of consumer goods conglomerate Newell Brands.

Co-founder and chief executive officer J.J. Chai told TechCrunch in an email that Rainforest raised funding again because it’s doubled its portfolio since the last round and also has “a number of sizable acquisitions in the pipeline.” The company originally intended to raise about $8 million to $12 million to add to its seed round, but increased that amount to $20 million because of investor interest, he added. In addition to brand acquisitions, the funding will also be used on hiring and building its tech infrastructure.

Chai said Rainforest raised only equity this time because it hasn’t finished using the debt facility it got from Accial earlier this year.

Since launching in January 2021, Rainforest has acquired six brands, including one from China for $3.6 million, marking its first foray into the country, and plans to triple its brand portfolio by the end of this year. After buying brands, Rainforest scales them up through inventory management, cost optimization and expansions into new marketplaces and distribution channel. The company claims its portfolio brands have seen over 50% improvement in annual growth rates after their acquisitions.

Rainforest also announced it has hired Yev Ivanko, previously co-founder and CEO at NimbleSeller, as its vice president of acquisitions, and Christine Ng, who has worked in marketing and branding at Sephora, ShopStyle, Luxola and Shopbop, as its new vice president of brands.