Luxury online retailer Reebonz seeks to raise up to S$208 million

Luxury online retailer Reebonz seeks to raise up to S$208 million
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Published: 4:45 PM, June 19, 2017

SINGAPORE — Homegrown online luxury retailer Reebonz is planning to raise as much as US$150 million (S$208 million) to bolster its marketplace business and fund expansion in China, Japan and South Korea.

Reebonz has been working with investment banks including Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs since last month to engage potential investors, Chief Executive Samuel Lim said in an interview with Bloomberg published on Monday (June 19).

The eight-year-old start-up he co-founded was valued at about US$300 million in late 2015, making it the most valuable luxury e-commerce start-up in Southeast Asia. Its backers already include Vertex Ventures, GGV Capital and Intel Capital.

“We are looking for the right partners for the next wave of growth. They may be strategic groups or long-term private equity funds which have vested interest in growing a luxury online platform,” the 38-year-old Singaporean entrepreneur said.

He declined to comment on his target valuation. Reebonz is open to various options, including funding from Internet or luxury fashion companies that the company can tap to access their networks and accelerate growth, he added.

“Luxury is a growing market and Reebonz doesn’t have many competitors. They are the first portal people in cities like Singapore go to for luxury,” said Mr Ajay Sunder, vice president of digital transformation at business consultancy Frost & Sullivan in Singapore.

Reebonz, whose website and app allow customers to buy new and pre-owned designer bags, watches and other luxury items, is making a big push into marketplace platforms where offline boutiques and individuals can buy and sell items directly.

“As buyers become sellers and sellers become buyers again and again, we will add more and more ranges of products. This allows us to operate as a luxury ecosystem, differentiating ourselves against the mass horizontal players,” Mr Lim said.

Reebonz opened a US$29 million, eight-storey headquarters in Singapore last month as it geared up for the next phase of growth. After an opening ceremony, Mr Lim and other co-founders took guests on a tour to showcase the firm’s authentication process, a robotic storage system for Hermes bags, jewelry and watches, as well as a “war room” where the company displays weekly and quarterly targets and performance records on the walls for employees to track.

Reebonz, whose name was derived from ribbons, has 300 employees and also has offices in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan. BLOOMBERG