DTC Brand Builder RPG Commerce Bags Series A from Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia, Hires ex-Uber and Cloud Kitchen Exec to Propel Growth

  • RPG Commerce will be directing the funds raised towards regional expansion across Southeast Asia, talent acquisition, brand building, and research and development efforts

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, June 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — RPG Commerce, a leading  DTC (direct-to-consumer) e-Commerce company, announced today that it has secured an undisclosed amount in a Series A round led by Temasek-backed Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia, a Singapore-based venture capital investment holding company and co-founder and Chairman of 17 Live, Joseph Phua.

RPG Commerce Team Photo
RPG Commerce Team Photo

RPG Commerce is a multi-brand DTC company that launches and operates a suite of DTC brands via a "shared backend infrastructure" approach. Unlike the recent wave of startups that seek to "roll-up" small e-commerce brands purely via brand acquisitions and selling on other e-commerce platforms, RPG Commerce primarily launches and incubates its own native brands in tandem to acquiring brands. With a more capital and cost efficient approach, the Company is able to develop, test and launch a brand with a lot less capital and, at the same time, being able to scale each brand quickly. To-date RPG Commerce has launched over 10 brands globally in different categories such as men’s fashion, home & living and fashion accessories. Many of these brands are already generating multi-million dollar revenues annually.   

The funds raised will be used to accelerate growth of more brands and further its expansion globally. RPG Commerce has experienced explosive growth in 2020, quadrupling its headcount to over 100  and is hiring more talent in brand management, operations and tech. It will continue to enhance the supply chain management, its predictive demand-testing algorithms and proprietary marketing platform.

In line with the funds raised, RPG Commerce also announced the appointment of Warren Tseng as the company’s new Chief Operating Officer (COO). Warren will be tasked with leading the operation of the business and championing the strategic direction in alignment with the company’s development. Warren was previously General Manager of ride-hailing giant, Uber, for Singapore and Malaysia, and helmed the APAC market as Regional General Manager at Cloud Kitchen, a startup venture by Travis Kalanick, co-founder and former CEO of Uber.

Commenting on the funding, RPG Commerce co-founder and CEO Melvin Chee, said "This funding round is a significant milestone for RPG Commerce. We are honored that our partners have placed their trust and confidence in us as we continue to build, launch, and scale e-commerce brands globally. We are in the business of creating a new generation of impactful direct-to-consumer brands that we hope will remain top of consumers’ minds in the long-term."

"This new-normal created by societal reaction to the pandemic has accelerated the entire e-Commerce industry and never been a more favourable period for DTC brands to rise. Having direct access to our customers gives us a strategic advantage over better understanding of their needs, armed with our agile operations that continuously enhance our products based on our customers’ feedback. We firmly believe that brands will build a long lasting relationships with their customers through satisfying their needs and achieving their goals," said Melvin.

Melvin further added "I am very happy that RPG Commerce is able to attract strong talent like Warren who brings a wealth of experience to help us scale and grow our business. We will continue to add in more talents this year to scale the business as we are seeing tremendous growth opportunities."

Chua Joo Hock, Managing Partner of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia said "We have seen the scaling problems of 1st generation D2C e-commerce models that generally focus on single product or vertical. We are happy to partner with Melvin and his team, as the first outside investor in RPG Commerce, to build the next generation leader of D2C company based on multi-brands. Melvin has built a company with very capital efficient approach of building a brand. He has prior strong background in performance marketing and supply chain management which are key factors to the success of this current business. We look forward to working closely with the RPG Commerce team to build a champion in this space."

About RPG Commerce

RPG Commerce is a rapidly growing D2C e-commerce company incorporated in Singapore. RPG Commerce builds, launches, and scales multi-brand e-commerce businesses globally. While its products are present in over 40 countries, its current main markets are in the USA, Europe, Australia and Asia. Since its establishment, it now has over 100 employees in several locations globally and with the headquarter in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Company is a VC-backed company and a portfolio of Temasek-backed Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia. To find more about RPG Commerce, kindly visit their website at https://www.rpg.ventures/.

About Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia

Temasek-backed Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia (VVSEA) is a leading venture capital investor in Southeast Asia and India. It has a long and good track record of investing early and building champions like Grab, Patsnap, 17Live, Nium, FirstCry, Licious, AsianParents, Validus and others.  VVSEA is part of the global Vertex Ventures network of funds. Its global network also comprises affiliates in Silicon Valley, China and Israel. Providing anchor funding and operational support to these venture capital funds, Vertex Ventures network has 6 network funds, more than 90 professionals globally, over US$4 billion assets under management, and more than 200 active portfolio companies.  For more information about Vertex Ventures SEA, pls go to the website https://www.vertexventures.sg


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