Leflair, Vietnam’s first premium e-commerce site, announced raising US$7 million in its Series B funding round backed by South Korea’s GS Shop and private equity firm Belt Road Capital Management, bringing the company’s total funding amount to US$11.8 million from four rounds.
Founded in December 2015, Leflair differentiates itself from other e-commerce sites by focusing on premium branded products for women, men, kids, and homes, making top brands accessible to Vietnamese consumers, the company said in a statement.
Since its launch, Leflair said it has grown on average more than a 100% every year in gross merchandise value and is currently selling merchandise from more than 1,500 brands. Additionally, Leflair said it will continue to bring in more international brands from overseas to Vietnam.
The funding round marked GS Shop’s first direct investment in Vietnam’s startup scene and should increase Leflair’s product inventory from Korea. GS Shop is the online retail subsidiary of GS Group, one of the largest Korean conglomerates.
“We are going to use this capital first to leverage as much as possible the strategic partnership with GS. It means investing in hiring the teams that will make this partnership a success and deploy resources in the areas of fulfillment, delivery, and technology,” Leflair CEO and co-founder Loic Gautier said in a statement.
He said Leflair’s bigger plan is to replicate the success of its Vietnam operation in other Southeast Asian markets. “2019 will be the year of our regional expansion as we progress towards our mission of making the world’s best brands accessible to more consumers in Southeast Asia,” he said.
Leflair first raised US$750,000 in seed round in May 2016. This was followed by another US$1 million in January 2017 and US$3 million in January 2018. It backers include angel investors and venture capital firms for the US, France, Italy, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Cambodia.
According to an e-commerce report released by the EU-Vietnam Business Network, Vietnam had approximately 51 million internet users in 2017 and the number is expected to continue rising at a fast pace. With these factors, the report added that the e-commerce industry in the country is forecast to continue rising rapidly at a CAGR of 14% during the 2017-2020 period.
Editor: Nadine Freischlad