Una Brands, a Singapore-based e-commerce aggregator, has partnered with South Korean peer KlickBrands to expand its footprint in South Korea.
The strategic partnership will help South Korean e-commerce brands grow domestically and make inroads into more countries in Asia. Una, one of the largest e-commerce aggregators in Asia, has already established its presence there, including Singapore, Australia, India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan, since its launch in 2021.
Kiren Tanna, co-founder and chief executive officer of Una Brands, told TechCrunch that Una will set aside $100 million for KlickBrands to acquire brands in South Korea. The two companies plan to acquire at least 25 profitable brands with annual revenue of between $1million and $50 million in health, cosmetics, baby, pets, home and living for the next two years, according to Tanna.
The e-commerce market of South Korea is expected to increase up to $250 billion by 2025. Una said that South Korea, the fifth-largest e-commerce market globally, is considered a key market for Una Brands.
“When Una Brands approached us, we immediately recognized that their capabilities were a great match for our own, particularly with the strong team that has built, their expertise in e-commerce in APAC, and their global distribution network,” said co-founder and chief executive officer of KlickBrands, Brian Hyun. “We bring to the partnership local e-commerce expertise, as well as the understanding and empathy of local brand owners’ mindsets. We are very excited to have the backing of Una Brands as we continue to reach out to more brands owners in South Korea to support their next phase in expansion.”
KlickBrands was founded in 2021 by co-founders Hyun and JungHo Joo, who previously had financial and investment backgrounds.
Una isn’t the only company consolidating e-commerce brands in the space in Asia. Singaporean e-commerce aggregator Rainforest raised a series of funding last year. U.S. company Thrasio also set up an office in Japan in 2021 to expand its presence in Asia. In addition, South Korea’s internet giant Naver invested in e-commerce aggregator New Vessel last month.
Una, which has acquired more than 20 brands to date, aims to expand its global presence. Una raised $55 million in equity and debt funding last year.
“Of all the local e-commerce aggregators, we chose KilckBrands as our strategic partner because of our shared vision, mission and value,” Tanna said. “Their hands-on approach to working with the brands they acquire mirrors our own work ethics. This will make KlickBrands an instrumental partner in strengthening Una Brands’ presence in, and understanding of, the South Korean e-commerce space. In return, KlickBrands will benefit from our robust operational, technological and acquisition capabilities.”