Vietnam social commerce platform Aemi announced on Thursday it has recently raised $2 million in a pre-Seed funding round co-led by Alpha JWC Ventures and January Capital, with participation from Venturra Discovery, FEBE Ventures, and other angel investors.

Aemi is an online business-to-business (B2B) marketplace connecting social commerce entrepreneurs to major and niche Asian health and beauty brands. Aemi launched its platform in April 2022 and cultivated a community of 1,000 social merchants and onboarded more than 20 brands. The brands include La Roche-Posay, Paula’s Choice, and Skin1004. In the coming months, Aemi plans to onboard more brands.

Aemi provides social sellers with high-end, authentic product assortment and a toolbox of inventory and marketing tools. These provide operational support for their customers. Aemi guarantees the authenticity of all products available on its platform through its direct collaboration with brands and provides its customers access to the best deals from brands and service providers with bulk orders. Aemi provides business support services like content marketing to its members to help them scale.

Vietnam was the natural starting point for the two co-founders Kim Vu and Hieu Nguyen. The two co-founders are Vietnamese with extensive experience in the local market. In addition, the consumer behavior in Vietnam is very conducive to social commerce and its solutions.

Vietnam is just the beginning for Kim Vu and Hieu Nguyen. Aemi plans to expand into Southeast Asian markets where online social commerce still accounts for a large majority of the e-commerce transaction value.

“We are currently focusing on perfecting our platform and expanding our ecosystem. Once we’re ready and Vietnam is already in our hands, we will expand regionally, starting from Thailand and the Philippines as they have quite similar behavior as Vietnam,” says Co-Founder and CTO Hieu Nguyen.

“Social commerce has proven to be effective in developing markets with closely-knitted societies like Indonesia and we believe Vietnam would also benefit from a similar model, with Aemi paving the way. Starting with health and beauty, Aemi is building a comprehensive trade ecosystem enabled by technology, providing excellent experience for brands, sellers, and customers. With a great combination of its network, strong go-to-market strategy, and the founders’ experience suited for developing market, we are confident in Kim Vu & Hieu Nguyen’s journey to revolutionize the beauty industry in Vietnam and beyond,” says Christa Soesanto, Vice President of Investment at Alpha JWC Ventures.

“The Aemi team is building a mission-critical platform that allows social commerce merchants in Southeast Asia to monetize their audience more efficiently in two key ways: providing a digital marketplace to procure a broad range of authentic health and beauty products with wholesale pricing and offering a set of targeted digital tools that drive increased revenue and engagement. For brands, Aemi offers a unique access point to the millions of social commerce merchants in Southeast Asia for the first time. We are thrilled to partner with Kim and Hieu as well as investors such as Alpha JWC as Aemi builds an important and enduring business,” says Benjamin Dunphy, Managing Partner at January Capital.

Indonesian alt-protein startup OFF FOODS raises $1.7M seed round led by Alpha JWC Ventures