ShopBack bags $61m in round co-led by Rakuten, EV Growth

ShopBack chief executive officer Henry Chan (third from left) with the EV Growth team: (from left) managing partners Willson Cuaca and Roderick Purwana, adviser Batara Eto, managing partner Shinichiro Hori and vice-president of investment Yoshi Okubo
ShopBack chief executive officer Henry Chan (third from left) with the EV Growth team: (from left) managing partners Willson Cuaca and Roderick Purwana, adviser Batara Eto, managing partner Shinichiro Hori and vice-president of investment Yoshi Okubo. EV Growth, together with Rakuten Capital, co-led ShopBack's latest equity funding round.PHOTO: SHOPBACK

Cashback platform will use funds to improve user experiences, fuel growth in key markets

Home-grown cashback platform ShopBack has raised US$45 million (S$61 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.

ShopBack said the round was oversubscribed.

Mr Willson Cuaca, managing partner of EV Growth, and Mr Amit Patel, chief executive of Rakuten-owned Ebates, 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 it will use the funds to simplify shopping experiences, expand data capabilities to improve personalisation and business insights, and 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 yesterday.

Besides rewarding users with cashback for online purchases, ShopBack has created features to improve the buying experience.

For instance, it said its latest product, ShopBack GO - launched in partnership with Visa and Mastercard - lets users get paid when dining out.

ShopBack reported 250 per cent year-on-year growth in orders and sales last year.

The platform said it had facilitated more than 2.5 million monthly transactions for over seven million users across seven Asia-Pacific countries.

It also said it had delivered close to US$1 billion in sales for around 2,000 merchant partners in the online and offline spaces.

That 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."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2019, with the headline 'ShopBack bags $61m in round co-led by Rakuten, EV Growth'. Print Edition | Subscribe