Ardent Capital Raises US$12.5 M from Sinarmas to Expand E-Commerce in Indonesia & Southeast Asia
Bangkok-headquartered venture capital operator announces strategic investment round to continue expansion of its Labs model across Southeast Asia.
Bangkok. Monday, Sept 22, 2014. Venture builder and investor Ardent Capital (ardentcap.com) has closed its second round of external funding. The round was led by Sinarmas (Indonesia), with participation by several existing investors. The funding will be used to further focus on Ardent’s successful Labs businesses including end-to-end regional e-commerce service provider aCommerce and online retail group WhatsNew. As part of this funding round, Roderick Purwana from Sinarmas will join the Ardent board.
Roderick highlighted the potential of Ardent’s ‘build and operate’ model. “Indonesia, as the largest market in Southeast Asia, has ample opportunities for business models already taken for granted in developed markets. Ardent’s focus on building scalable infrastructure and leveraging it to empower multiple e-commerce ventures with high speed and cost efficiency fits very well with our broader aspirations in the digital space. We look forward to supporting Ardent with the launch of Labs in Indonesia.”
Adrian Vanzyl, CEO of Ardent Capital, sees this funding round as a major milestone for e-commerce companies in Southeast Asia. “Over the last three years we’ve seen a rapid evolution in the landscape: from very few substantial local internet investments to $10M sized Series B rounds to now seeing that amount in the Series A. We have positioned Ardent to be a leader of this trend by building successful internet companies for traditional venture investors to then invest into.” Furthermore, he added: “With the Sinarmas partnership, we can leverage their network and groups of companies to create a competitive advantage for Ardent businesses.”
In the next two years Ardent envisions the biggest opportunity in Southeast Asia as building out the full ‘e-commerce stack.’ Because of the early stage of internet and credit card penetration in the region, this opportunity will extend beyond e-commerce fulfillment and delivery (such as aCommerce.asia) or direct B2C commerce (such as Whatsnew.asia), to the entire e-commerce cycle including customer acquisition and demand generation services as well as horizontal plays, such as payment solutions.
Ardent has a pipeline of companies that it will build over the next two years that will be deeply integrated into its existing assets. This will be a significant advantage for upcoming ventures as it will enable them to build and launch quickly by tapping into existing Ardent resources including customer base, proven systems, and regional expertise across Southeast Asia. Ardent will continue its Thailand operations and ongoing support of its existing projects.
The company is launches its Jakarta office this month and will hire a dedicated team of 20 people by the end of this year to build Ardent Labs. Ardent is recruiting software engineers and product and marketing experts, among others.
About Ardent Capital (www.ardentcap.com)
Ardent Capital is a Hong Kong-based holding company that operates as a venture builder and investor. Headquartered in Bangkok, Ardent focuses exclusively on Southeast Asian opportunities, particularly e-commerce companies. Ardent’s Labs business allows the company to conceive of new ideas and then test, launch, and fund them through to a successful Series A fund raise.
The Thailand team have so far successfully built and launched two companies – aCommerce and WhatsNew.
aCommerce (www.acommerce.asia) received Series A funding of $10.7M in June this year. aCommerce is the leading full end-to-end fulfillment and logistics provider for e-commerce companies. Its customers include dozens of tier one brands such as L’Oreal, HP, Groupon and LINE in four countries in Southeast Asia.
WhatsNew (www.whatsnew.asia) is the leading vertical commerce company in Thailand, operating a number of web and mobile sites focused on women consumers. Its brands include petloft.com. (pet supplies), venbi.com (parenting), sanoga.com (health) and lafema.com (beauty). This new funding round will allow Ardent to expand this business into Indonesia and other Southeast Asian markets as well as position the business for its first external funding late next year.
Ardent Capital, 946 DusitThani Building, 4th Floor, Rama IV Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand.
Sinarmas is an Indonesian conglomerate with interests ranging from pulp and paper products, agribusiness and food to financial services and real estate. With a strong focus in Indonesia, Sinarmas provides key resources for and actively works with entrepreneurs across Southeast Asia to help them reach their full potential.