Exclusive | Alibaba and Fosun are about to invest into theAsianparent, SEA’s Babytree

Fosun and Ant Financial’s parent, Alibaba, have also invested in Babytree Group, China’s leading online parenting firm.

Photo by Benjamin Manley on Unsplash

Singapore-based online parenting community theAsianparent is in talks with investors including Alibaba’s Ant Financial and Chinese conglomerate Fosun for a new funding round at a pre-money valuation of US$60 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

The online parenting community, founded almost a decade ago in 2009 to ride with a burgeoning trend of Asian mums going digital.

TheAsianparent positions itself as a digital channel to provide marketers a more targeted and effective way to reach out to Asia’s mum audience. It claims more than 12 million Asian women monthly users across Asia as of last May.

It generates revenue from helping brand clients tap into Asian mums through avenues like customised online advertising, KOL marketing, and market research among others.

The fresh funding came less than a year after theAsianparent raised US$6.7 million in a round led by Global Grand Leisure, with participation from Mountain Pine Capital, in addition to existing investors, including Vertex Ventures.

Sources told KrASIA that theAsianparent will use the fresh funds for branding and expansion, with plans to expand its presence in the Middle East and Africa. The company currently runs a site in Nigeria and sources said it wants to solidify its presence in the African region. The company’s biggest so far are Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, according to the source.

The lead investor in the latest funding, Fosun, and the parent company of Ant Financial, Alibaba Group, have also backed Babytree Group, China’s leading online parenting firm, which operates a similar model to theAsianparent. Babytree Group raised around US$200 million in Hong Kong IPO after downsizing its target by nearly 80% from the initial target of US$1 billion.

Fosun and Ant Financial’s interest in theAsianparent comes as Southeast Asia’s baby care market looks rosy. According to data compiled by global consultancy firm Euromonitor, Indonesia and Thailand’s baby products sales are expected to reach US$280 million and US$141 million by 2020, respectively.

TheAsianparent is run by Tickled Media, a Singapore-based Southeast Asian focused digital parenting publisher, which also operates Kidlander.com and Pregnant.sg. The firm has so far raised US$7.3 million from three funding rounds that started in April 2013, according to data from Crunchbase.

Editor: Ben Jiang, Nadine Freischlad