Armada Brands (Armada), a Philippine-based e-commerce aggregator, said Tuesday it has raised $1.3 million in pre-seed funding to invest in e-commerce entrepreneurs looking to scale their brands.

The pre-seed funding round of $1.3 million was co-led by the venture capital firms M Venture Partners and Foxmont Capital Partners, Armada said in a statement.

Kaya Founders, the early-stage investment firm helmed by Paulo Campos (Co-Founder and Chairman of Zalora Philippines) and Lisa Gokongwei Cheng, Armada’s earliest backer, have topped up their investment in the company.

The round also saw participation from top venture capitals such as Antler and Sketchnote, business angels and advisors include Constantin Robertz (Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Locad), Jannis Dargel (Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Locad), and other senior executives from marketplaces and enablers across Southeast Asia.

“Together, they possess the necessary know-how to partner with and aggressively scale online native brands, starting in the Philippines which is in itself a massive opportunity,” said Founding Partner of M Venture Partners, Mayank Parekh, who is joining the board of Armada.

The new injection of capital will go towards making additional investments in the weeks ahead, and to build up a team of top e-commerce talent that will then support its brands.

Armada said there are dozens more up-and-coming brands in the pipeline, of which some have already passed due diligence and are in advanced discussions to close a deal.

With thousands of growing target brands already in the market, and thousands of new brands joining monthly, Armada aims to position itself as a next-generation direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand house, with an armada of 100+ category-leading brands across Southeast Asia, led by visionary ecommerce entrepreneurs.

Armada invests into successful e-commerce brands run by local entrepreneurs. The company provides growth capital to finance working capital and operating expenses. It forms a partnership with the entrepreneurs to drive significant growth of sales, combining the credibility of the founder with the resourcefulness of the ecommerce aggregator.

As an e-commerce aggregator, the company invests in five-star D2C brands with high potential and offers them capital alongside day-to-day operational support through their professional team of experts, infrastructure, and technology – from commercial management such as branding, digital marketing, and channel management, to operations such as warehousing, fulfillment, and customer service.

Entrepreneurs contribute product ideas, consumer knowledge and a compelling and authentic brand story to engage with their followers. Together, they then build the brand and scale it all throughout Southeast Asia, with the aim of growing sales and profits by 10 times+ within one to two years.

The company has recently closed their first investment into a fast-growing and well-loved fashion brand started and run by a Filipina mum with a strong entrepreneurial drive alongside a treasure trove of new and hot product ideas. It will support her in pushing the brand in the D2C as well as marketplace channels, in expanding the product assortment, and in bringing the brand into the US market.

Armada is helmed by two Co-Founders with a deep background in deal-making, merger and acquisition (M&A), e-commerce in Southeast Asia, and venture building. Its Chief Executive Officer Andreas Hufnagl is a former McKinsey consultant and private equity investment professional while its Chief Operating Officer Gelo Torres is an e-commerce professional and entrepreneur who had previously built a globally successful brand.

Philippines social commerce startup SariSuki bags $7.1M from regional and global investors