Japanese e-commerce aggregator startup Forest Inc. has reportedly raised USD 8 million in seed round which was led by Nordstar Partners and The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTED).
The firm intends to use the fresh funds to acquire around 300 Japanese e-commerce brands, cited sources with relevant information. It further expects to apply effective digital marketing strategies, support e-commerce expansion across borders and optimize sales as well as improve inventory planning by using some advanced data analytics.
For those unaware, Forest was founded in July 2021 by Masa Mishizawa (COO) and Shingo Yuhara (CEO) to identify sustainable, high-quality brands and products and help them develop and penetrate through the global market with the power of technology.
Yuhara was quoted saying that the company is currently in the process of finalizing its first acquisition and will continue its search for brands that garner sales between USD 1 billion to USD 5 billion. Forest will only target brands generating sales of more than USD 10 billion from next year.
The e-commerce aggregator also hopes to bag nearly USD 20 million to USD 30 million equity and debt capital of Series A funding in early 2022, added Yuhara.
Hiroyuki Samato, a Partner at UTEC stated that it is the firm’s largest seed round investment in the IT sector. UTEC looks forward to working with such eligible and experienced founders who have availed this attractive market opportunity, said Somato.
Notably, the Japanese startup is all set to compete against other companies like Una Brands, Rainforest, and Thrasio in the worldwide market. However, the company has revealed that for the time being it is only focusing on the domestic market and hence does not see Rainforest and Thrasio as its pure competitors.