[Funding alert] Indonesia-based Raena raises $1.8 million to build an influencer commerce platform
Indonesia-based startup Raena announced that it has raised a $1.82 million in a seed round. Led by Beenext, the round saw participation from Beenos Strive, the personal offices of Shailesh Rao and Sanjay Nath, Managing Partners at Blume Ventures.
A platform for Indonesian customers to purchase beauty products from Japan and Korea, the startup was recently founded by Harvard Business School, Google and Amazon alumna Sreejita Deb, earlier this year.
Its first product, The Calm and Rescue Balm, was launched on June 13. And in the last two months, the company has partnered with seven influencers who have a total reach of over 12 million followers.
Speaking on the investment, Teruhide Sato, Partner at Beenext and the former CEO of Beenos, said,
“We firmly believe that in ASEAN and India now, with increasing video and social media usage, the time is ripe to create brands that uniquely leverage these new channels of distribution and audience insight.”
Raena claims to have generated high returns when its products were promoted through beauty influencers.
In an official statement, the company said,
“We reached out to social media influencers to see how we could scale these partnerships and realised that while there were plenty of brands who wanted to work with them on paid promotions, there was a gap where several wanted to create their own brands but lacked the resources and infrastructure.”
It also said that seeing individual influencer led brands such as HUDA Beauty, Kylie Cosmetics become successful, they want to build an infrastructure of capital, suppliers, operations, content and marketing best practices and distribution for influencers to launch a brand for themselves.
The company also claimed that its product was launched in five weeks as opposed to time usually taken which is 24 to 36 months.
“Predicting which product will be a hit is one of the toughest parts of a retail business. By partnering with an influencer, we gain quick iterative feedback on our products even before they are put into development,” said Sreejita, who is also part of the Flyrobe’s founding team, a fashion rental startup.
It has built a network of suppliers across four different countries, it said in a statement.
Investors of the company have been early backers of market leaders in Indonesian ecommerce. Beenos, Beenext and Strive (formerly known as GREE Ventures) have backed Tokopedia, Zilingo, and has Bukalapak and BerryBenka, respectively.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)