ShopBack secures US$45m in oversubscribed funding round co-led by Rakuten, EV Growth

(From left)  EV Growth managing partner Willson Cuaca, EV Growth managing partner Roderick Purwana, ShopBack CEO Henry Chan, EV Growth advisor Batara Eto, EV Growth managing partner Shinichoro Hori and EV Growth VP of investment Yoshi Okubo.
(From left) EV Growth managing partner Willson Cuaca, EV Growth managing partner Roderick Purwana, ShopBack CEO Henry Chan, EV Growth advisor Batara Eto, EV Growth managing partner Shinichoro Hori and EV Growth VP of investment Yoshi Okubo. PHOTO: SHOPBACK

SINGAPORE - Homegrown cashback platform ShopBack has raised US$45 million in an equity funding round, with new investors including co-leads Rakuten Capital and EV Growth, as well as EDBI, the investment arm of Singapore's Economic Development Board.

The round was over-subscribed, ShopBack told The Business Times.

Willson Cuaca, managing partner of EV Growth, and Amit Patel, CEO of Ebates Inc, which is a Rakuten company, will join ShopBack's board of directors. Rakuten Capital is the investment arm of the Japanese e-commerce giant, while EV Growth is a joint venture between Sinar Mas, East Ventures and Yahoo! Japan.

The latest capital injection brings ShopBack's total funding to US$83 million.

ShopBack, which is also backed by SoftBank Ventures Asia, said its new round of funding will be used to simplify shopping experiences, expand data capabilities to fuel personalisation and business insights, as well as accelerate growth in key markets.

"The company remains focused on building rewards and discovery features to enhance both online and offline shopping experiences for consumers across the Asia Pacific," ShopBack said in a press statement on Wednesday.

Besides rewarding users with cash back for making online purchases, ShopBack has also created features to improve users' buying experiences. For instance, its latest product, ShopBack GO, launched in partnership with Visa and Mastercard, enables users to dine out and get paid, the company said.

ShopBack said it saw a 250 per cent year-on-year growth in orders and sales in 2018.

The company facilitated over 2.5 million monthly transactions for more than 7 million users across seven Asia Pacific countries,and delivered close to US$1 billion sales for over 2,000 merchant partners in both the online and offline spaces, it said.

In the same year, ShopBack entered Australia, its first market outside Asia. It also opened research and development hubs in Vietnam and Taiwan, driving a threefold increase in its engineering, data, and product management talent pool.

EDBI chief executive Chu Swee Yeok said in a statement: "ShopBack is well-poised to be a leading digital rewards and discovery platform in the Asia-Pacific region, enhancing online brands and merchants' reach to consumers while delivering seamless personalised experience to consumers with its data science capabilities. There is tremendous opportunity for the company to extend its impressive platform to offline merchants and other business areas.

"As a strategic investor which is actively nurturing promising Singapore companies, EDBI is excited to support ShopBack as the company expands aggressively in the region, riding on Asia's exciting growth."