According to eMarketerJapan and Korea’s e-commerce markets were valued at $144 billion and $121 billion in 2021, respectively. Despite the large size of the e-commerce market, both countries have fewer e-commerce aggregators than other countries with smaller markets, the South Korean e-commerce market. trade aggregator New ship said.
The startup announced today that it has raised an undisclosed seed round co-led by South Korean internet giant Naver, CKD Venture Capital and Wooshin Venture Investment, with the participation of Lighthouse Combined Investment and S&C Networks to enter the market in South Korea. and conquer Japan.
The new funding will be used to acquire Korean and Japanese e-commerce brands and hire additional experts in brand management, marketing and supply chain management, New Vessel CEO Jaebin Lee told TechCrunch. The startup is currently looking for brands that generate at least $1 million in annual revenue on a margin of 15-30%, Lee said, adding that the acquisition deal would be between $1 million and 2 million. The company plans to increase its Series A funding in June after completing acquisitions in the first half of this year, Lee noted.
New Vessel was founded in September 2021 by Lee, who has more than 10 years of M&A experience as a lawyer and investor, and Kyuyong Lee, who previously worked at Japan’s e-commerce company Rakuten and Korean e-commerce company Coupang. .
In recent years, the two co-founders have seen the growth of global aggregator giants, including Thrasio and Perch. They noticed that the e-commerce aggregator industry in South Korea and Japan is just getting started, even though the e-commerce markets in those countries are among the best in the world. That represents great potential for local aggregators in the regions, Lee said.
“It’s only a matter of time. The e-commerce aggregator market [in South Korea and Japan] is filled with untapped potential,” Lee said.
The startup said it will partner with leading e-commerce merchants in Korea and Japan to drive their growth by providing proven optimization strategies and sales expansion tactics. New Vessel aims to help US-based merchants expand in Korea and Japan and vice versa, allowing Korean and Japanese brands to enter the US market, Lee said. New Vessel recently entered into a strategic partnership with Spigen, the US and South Korea-based mobile phone accessories manufacturer, to increase its operational strength.
“The vast majority of online brand sellers in Korea are not aware that selling their brands is even a possibility. We believe that our partnerships with brand owners will bring value to not just the merchants, but the consumer as a whole by filling the market with great products at affordable prices.”
Meanwhile, global e-commerce aggregator Thrasio has entered Asia by setting up an office in Japan last March to acquire the Japanese e-commerce brands.