Business

Fashion startup Zilingo raises $307m from backers including Temasek

South-east Asian fashion start-up Zilingo said it has raised US$226 million (S$307 million) in its latest funding round from existing backers such as venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, with Singapore's Temasek Holdings joining as a new investor.

The Series D financing follows a US$54 million fund-raising last year, taking the total capital raised by the company to $308 million. The company declined to provide valuation.

The latest round included Singapore investment fund EDBI and previous investors Burda Principal Investments, a division of Germany's Hubert Burda Media, and Belgian investment firm Sofina, Zilingo said in a statement yesterday.

The Singapore-headquartered company plans to use the funds to invest in infrastructure and technology to further integrate and digitise the fashion and beauty supply chain, it said.

Zilingo, whose main market for the consumer business is Indonesia, is expanding in countries such as Australia this year.

The company started as a fashion marketplace, and has been rapidly growing its business-to-business (B2B) tools and platforms, which include providing value-added services to its merchants as well as a marketplace to help them source efficiently from manufacturers.

The company, which also acts as an affiliate for companies to provide financing to small firms on its platform, is now earning the bulk of its revenue from its B2B business.

Zilingo has grown its revenues by four times in the last 12 months, it said, but did not provide specific numbers.

"We are pretty close to profitability and have a clear path to it," Ms Ankiti Bose, the company's co-founder and CEO, told Reuters. Bose founded the company in 2015 with Mr Dhruv Kapoor, its chief technology officer.

A study by Google and Temasek has forecast that e-commerce in Southeast Asia will exceed US$100 billion in gross merchandise value by 2025 from over US$23 billion in 2018. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE