Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Malaysian e-commerce company RPG Commerce secures funding to develop, expand its brand-portfolio

Malaysia – RPG Commerce, a Malaysia-based direct-to-consumer (DTC) e-commerce company, has secured US$ 29 million in a Series B funding round led by East Ventures, UOB Venture Management, Vertex Ventures SE Asia & India (VVSEAI), and RHL Ventures. VVSEAI previously led RPG Commerce’s Series A funding and has continued to invest in this current round.

The funds raised will be channeled into future-proofing the company’s technology and development processes, as well as developing and expanding RPG’s brand-portfolio to create revolutionary consumer products. RPG currently hosts a suite of 10+ in-house international brands, including apparel & homeware brands Thousand Miles, Bottoms Lab, Montigo, Cosmic Cookware & more. 

RPG Commerce’s multi-brand business model launches, operates, and optimizes a globally successful suite of DTC brands by owning the development, production, and delivery processes end-to-end. Striving to create an exceptional standard of living for customers by creating innovative solutions to everyday problems, RPG is powered by cutting-edge back-end technology and a leading team of creative visionaries, which has resulted in a rapid brand portfolio expansion and customer base growth of 300% over the past year.

Melvin Chee, co-founder and CEO of RPG Commerce, shared, “RPG Commerce’s mission is to provide value that exceeds the expectations of our customers. We are proud to have delivered game-changing, customer-centric products and services by creating high-quality essential items through our DTC model that are accessible at their fingertips and delivered straight to their doorstep. With this round of funding, we aim to rapidly expand our talent pool across the entire organisation and enhance our technological capabilities in addition to expanding our suite of brands to further disrupt the consumer landscape.”

Evolving beyond its primary DTC business model, RPG’s ‘shared backend infrastructure’ enables other businesses and brands to leverage RPG’s technology framework through partnerships. Passionate about supporting independent businesses with in-demand products and solutions, RPG is also looking forward to empowering smaller businesses through incubation programs and acquisitions to expand its range of consumer-centric products across different verticals. 

Meanwhile, Willson Cuaca, co-founder and managing partner of East Ventures, commented, “RPG takes a multi-category, multi-brand approach, while retaining the roll-up model as an option, making them a unique and successful player in the e-commerce landscape. It is critical for DTC businesses to build traction internationally to ensure success, and RPG stands out as a company that has been able to grow a loyal customer base across the US, Canada, and Europe by building consumer trust through quality products and supply chain innovation. “

Cuaca added, “We are excited to support RPG on the next leg of their growth and are looking forward to watching the brand expand their portfolio and grow in new markets across Southeast Asia.”

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesian VC firm East Ventures raises US$550m to focus on SEA startups

Jakarta, Indonesia – East Ventures, an Indonesian venture capital firm, has raised US$550 to focus on growing its portfolio by focusing on startups based in Southeast Asia, including locally in Indonesia.

The firm is managing over US$1b in assets under management and attracted US$6.7b in follow-on funding for the portfolio companies. East Ventures recorded more than US$86b of annualised GMV in aggregate by its portfolio. The firm will also ensure the incorporation of sustainability aspects in every practice and usage of the funds.

Willson Cuaca, co-founder and managing partner at East Ventures, said, “We are very bullish about Indonesia yet mindful of the global market condition. We have built a strong return track record for more than a decade and as the ecosystem flywheel effect kicks in. East Ventures is well-positioned to ride on it. We have been transforming ourselves from a seed-stage investor into a multi-stage investor and into becoming an efficient and robust platform to support entrepreneurship. We will allocate US$150m for early-stage deals and US$400m for growth-stage deals.”

Meanwhile, Roderick Purwana, managing partner at East Ventures, commented, “As Indonesia navigates and comes to terms with the post-pandemic era, rising digital adoption has pushed for advances in many sectors in the ecosystem. During this time, thanks to the continuous support from all relevant stakeholders, Indonesia is among the fastest-growing digital economies in Southeast Asia. Digitalization in Indonesia has become more robust, with 73.7% of internet penetration rate in 2021 and more equal digital competitiveness across the regions as shown by the increased EV-DCI score from 2020-2022.” 

He added, “We also saw the IPOs of some of Indonesia’s largest tech companies in recent timesーa significant milestone in paving the way for other startups in the country to follow suit. We believe the strong initiatives made by the relevant stakeholders, such as the government in promoting digitalization through G20 Presidency, will further elevate the tech ecosystem and create even greater investment opportunities in Indonesia. At East Ventures, we will continue to double down our investments in Indonesia.”

East Ventures has launched many strategic initiatives in supporting the overall progress and development of Indonesia, including supporting the digital transformation through its annual East Ventures – Digital Competitiveness Index report; and ensuring the sustainable investment and practices by being the first venture capital in Indonesia to sign the Principle of Responsible Investment (PRI), a UN-supported network of investors, and actively involved in many strategic initiatives to support the stakeholders, including government, business players, and society as a whole.