Rainforest, the Singapore-based e-commerce brand aggregator, has announced that it is launching with a $36 million Seed fund led by Nordstar Partners and participated by Insignia Ventures Partners. The startup will be using its seed fund to acquire Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) brands, invest in technology, and bolster the company’s efforts in recruitment.

The company’s seed funding round consisted of $6.5 million in equity financing participated by Nordstar and Insignia Ventures Partners, as well a $30 million debt facility from a US-based debt fund.

“We’re thrilled to be backing Asia’s first e-commerce aggregator in the region’s rapidly growing e-commerce space, with a seasoned team that will be eventually well-positioned to acquire and grow brands in the regional Asian and Southeast Asian marketplaces,” said Yinglan Tan, Managing Partner of Insignia Ventures Partners.

“We’re very happy to partner with the Rainforest team and to add our global experience to their platform as they scale their business and their brands to reach their full potential,” said Managing Director of Nordstar Partners Ole Ruch.

The company was founded in 2020 by a team of experienced tech startup alumni. Rainforest’s CEO JJ Chai was the former lead for growth and strategy in Carousell and SEA managing director in Airbnb. The company’s CFO, Jason Tan, held CFO positions at OVO and Fave. Rainforest CFO Per-Ola Röst is an Amazon SaaS software entrepreneur and also a 7-figure Amazon FBA seller.

Röst comments on working with CEO JJ Chai: “We have had the privilege of knowing JJ Chai for a long time, having worked closely with him when he was at Airbnb. He is recognized as one of the strongest operators and executives in the region and we are delighted to partner with him and his two co-founders.”

In an interview with TechCrunch, Chai mentioned that the debt financing will be used to mainly acquire roughly 8 to 12 brands sold through Amazon’s B2B service FBA. Since launching earlier this January 2021, the company claims that its current portfolio includes three brands that it acquired for $1 million each. Rainforest plans to release the names of its brand as soon as it grows its portfolio. The current brands include a best-selling mattress brand, a cereal maker, and a kitchenware brand. Rainforest plans to mainly focus on home goods, personal care, and pet items.

Chai also adds, “It’s a great pleasure to provide these entrepreneurs a cash exit. We’ll be working hard to take their brands to the next level and hope to do the same for many more e-commerce entrepreneurs.”

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