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aCommerce Raises $65M in a Series B Led by Emerald Media

The newest funding round is led by Emerald Media, a pan-Asian platform established by global investment firm KKR to fund growth investment opportunities across Asia

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The region’s leading ecommerce enabler and e-distributor will continue to build successful multi-channel retail, distribution and marketing strategies for brands such as Samsung, Unilever, Nestlé, L’Oreal, Philips and Mars.

aCommerce Co. Ltd. announced today that it has closed a US$65 million Series B funding round. The company is Southeast Asia’s leading ecommerce enabler and e-distributor in four markets that enables over 260 brand clients such as Samsung, Unilever, Nestlé, L’Oreal, Philips and Mars to sell to the world’s fastest-growing consumer markets.

The newest funding round is led by Emerald Media, a pan-Asian platform established by global investment firm KKR to fund growth investment opportunities across Asia. Participants in the round also include existing backers Blue Sky, MDI Ventures and DKSH, with North Ridge Partners advising.

The US$65M investment in aCommerce will be channeled into:

  1. Further augmenting the company’s brand-centric tech platform that allows clients to “plug in” and distribute through an integrated network of Business-to-Consumer (“B2C”) (e.g. online brand stores, e-marketplaces like Lazada and Shopee) and Business-to-Business (“B2B”) channels, with real-time data analytics;
  2. Scaling strategic partnerships within the retail ecosystem in current markets: Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines; and
  3. Enabling client expansion into new markets like Malaysia and Vietnam.

Brands going multi-channel, demanding “Business-to-All” (B2A)

Given the rapid growth of the B2C market and retail industry in ASEAN, more brands are looking to launch on multiple channels to reach new audiences such as B2B that include specialty retailers, resellers, business-to-governments (“B2G”), and business-to-corporate employees (“B2E”).

“At the beginning of the region’s adoption of online, it was enough to simply have a website,” says Paul Srivorakul, aCommerce Co-Founder and Group CEO. “Fast forward a few years later and brands are realizing in order to stay ahead of the retail game, they need to be omnipresent and data hungry to fully control all pricing and consumer touch points.”

“Customers want to reach their favorite brands at any time through any platform,” continues Paul. “Clients leverage our ecommerce expertise, data-driven approach, and local footprint to effectively distribute their products to become business-to-all.”

aCommerce is the driving force behind some of the notable new B2B and B2E initiatives of global brands in ASEAN such as Samsung and L’Oreal.

“Our platform covers the entire customer journey online, from product sample distribution, collecting customer data to driving and attributing purchases across channels like the brand’s own webstore and the region’s top marketplaces,” added Paul.

“Having a strong partner like KKR and Emerald Media with their years of investment experience in the region will provide capital and critical connections in content and demand generation across Southeast Asia, which we see a great deal of convergence in. We can provide our clients an even better level of transparency and accountability hard to find elsewhere.”

All eyes on Southeast Asia’s consumers

The region’s residents are moving to online shopping at an increasingly exponential pace, growing 32% year-on-year for the next 10 years according to research by Google and Temasek. The surge in online activities has caused giants such as JD.com, Amazon, and Alibaba to expand their presence in Southeast Asia’s retail market.

In 2017 alone, brands such as Mars, Nestlé, and Unilever, have all established a stronger official ecommerce presence with aCommerce across the region in addition to selling through existing offline channels.

aCommerce is an important part of the ecosystem by enabling these companies to collect and own valuable consumer data, develop strategic partnerships with the region’s top marketplaces/retailers and access actionable data through its ecommerce market research arm, ecommerceIQ.

“What gives us confidence in aCommerce is the company’s highly brand-centric technology platform that enables clients to simply plug in and use all operating systems, channel distribution methods and demand generation applications across the region,” said Paul Aiello, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Emerald Media.

“This provides new entrants a quick way to roll out multi-channel operations in these exciting markets without building large local operations.”

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Companies

Regulation can hinder not help Asia’s social enterprises, analysts say

Thailand last week passed a new act that gives tax breaks for social entreprises

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As more Asian nations consider laws to promote social enterprises, analysts on Thursday warned that legislation could hold back, not help the growing number of ethical businesses.

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Business

French MRO Revima to build landing gear facility in Chonburi

The French landing gear MRO provider has started construction of a new facility in Chonburi, Thailand

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The facility will focus on Airbus A320, Boeing 737 and ATR family landing gears. It will be equipped with the latest state-of-the-art machines and will include all necessary special processes for full in-house repair & overhaul of landing gears.

The French landing gear MRO provider has started construction of a new facility in Chonburi, Thailand.

The 12000 m2 facility will employ up to 300 employees, and represents an investment of over 30 MUSD.

“We found Thailand to be a great choice due to its central location in Asia, its infrastructure, ease of doing business and workforce quality. Thailand will become our regional customer support hub for Asia-Pacific. Our objective is to deliver quality and customer service of the highest standards in the region to support our customers’ operations. We aim to have our facility fully certified and ready to ship to our customers by the first quarter of 2020.”


Olivier Legrand, President & CEO of Revima

Digitally connected from its machines to its technical documentation, warehouses, monitoring and customer communication systems, it will also be environmentally friendly, with zero rejection waste water management systems and advanced fire detection and suppression technology.

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Hino To establish a development and production base in Thailand

Once the factory begins operation in 2021, Hino will first start off by producing vehicles for the domestic Thai market

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Japanese motor Company to push forward with locally led manufacturing of best-fit products to quickly respond to customer needs in close proximity

Under this new setup, Hino will be constructing a new center in Bang Bo, Samutprakarn Province to consolidate and strengthen our product planning, development, and production functions for best-fit products in ASEAN.

The site has an area of roughly 400,000 sqm. Construction is scheduled to begin in July 2019 with operations to begin in 2021.

The new center will consist of the new plant’s production area, and a development area centered around a test track. The total investment amount is expected to be roughly 11.5 billion yen.

Operations to begin in 2021

Once the factory begins operation in 2021, we will first start off by producing vehicles for the domestic Thai market, and expect to begin supplying ASEAN best-fit vehicles to other emerging markets by roughly 2024.

Hino Motors, Ltd. (HQ: Hino City, Tokyo, President & CEO: Yoshio Shimo; hereafter “Hino,”) and Hino Motors Manufacturing Thailand, Ltd. (HQ: Samrong, Samutprakarn Province, President: Somchai Pleankaew; hereafter “HMMT”), our manufacturing company in Thailand, in order to achieve our vision of “Corporate strategy 2025” and enable us to respond to customer needs in close proximity, will be taking steps in Thailand, one of our key centers of operation, to accelerate our efforts to strengthen our business foundation in ASEAN.

By newly appointed Mr. Somchai Pleankaew, who has an exceptional career background with Hino, to president of HMMT, we will be creating an organizational setup that will enable us to drive our business in a locally led manner.

Mr. Somchai Pleankaew, who assumed the office of president of HMMT as of Feb 1 has this to say:
HMMT will put all of our effort to make this project successful in order to enable the growth of our company. Our aim is to serve all customers to their greatest satisfaction by providing the best-fit products and total support customized for each vehicle.

In addition, as a center of Monozukuri, including product planning, development, and production, as well as Total Support in ASEAN, Hino Thailand will collaborate and go forward with Hino in ASEAN in order to grow and strengthen together to support the growth of our customers’ businesses in the ASEAN region.

The Hino Group will be reforming its business structure to achieve sustainable growth leading up to 2025. We position Thailand as one of our key markets for sales in the ASEAN region, our second pillar after the Japanese market. The country is also one of our key business centers and a driver of Monozukuri and Total Support within the region.

The new center to be constructed will consolidate and strengthen our product planning, development, and production functions in Thailand.

New center overview

NameSuvarnabhumi Monozukuri Center
LocationBang Bo, Samutprakarn Province
Site area400,000 sqm
FunctionsProduct planning, development, and production of Hino vehicles
Products producedLight- and medium-duty trucks and buses
Operation startup dateScheduled for 2021
EmployeesApprox. 1,300 (at the time of operation startup)

As a “Monozukuri Center” it will be designed with the capability to commercialize and supply ASEAN best-fit products locally and consistently. In addition to increased coordination between different functions, we will be taking steps in product development to push forward with localization of product development by upgrading organizational setups and constructing a new test track so that we will be able to respond to customer needs quickly and accurately at close customer proximity. In the area of production, the production functions that are currently distributed across existing plants in Thailand will be consolidated at the new center to improve production efficiency.

Furthermore, know-how from the Koga Plant―our global mother plant―will be actively incorporated into the plant to create a system that will enable us to deliver competitive products to our customers in a timely fashion.

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