Korea’s e-Commerce Aggregator New Vessel Raises Undisclosed Seed Round Led By Naver, CKD And Wooshin

South Korea’s e-commerce aggregator New Vessel has raised an undisclosed amount in its seed funding round co-led by trio Naver – the country’s internet giant, CKD Venture and Wooshin Venture Investment. The seed funding round saw the participation of Lighthouse Combined Investment and S&C Networks.

As revealed by the aggregator’s CEO Jaebin Lee, the funding from the seed round will be used to acquire Korean and Japanese e-commerce brands as well as hire talents with expertise in marketing, brand management and supply chain management. Per an eMarketer report, Japan and Korea’s e-commerce markets were estimated at $144 billion and $121 billion, respectively in 2021. Although they are enabling environments for e-commerce, these countries have fewer e-commerce aggregators, especially compared to a handful of other smaller markets.

New Vessel is looking at brands that’ll generate a minimum of $1 million in yearly revenue with 15-30 percent in margins, according to the aggregator’s CEO. He also revealed that the deal size for future acquisitions is pegged between $1 million and $2 million.

New Vessel was founded by Jaebin Lee and Kyuyong Lee in September 2021. The platform’s CEO has over 10 years of experience under his belt both as a lawyer and a lawyer in the M&A space. Kyuyong Lee, on the other hand, woeked at Japanese and Korean e-commerce companies Rakuten and Coupang. This duo recognized the huge opportunities that lay in the aggregator market and as local aggregators, they believed they had a lot to gain from South Korea and Japan whose e-commerce aggregator industry is just starting to take off. “It’s only a matter of time. The e-commerce aggregator market [in South Korea and Japan] is filled with untapped potential”, New Vessel’s CEO said.

As part of its plans, New Vessel will partner with sellers with the aim of helping them grow through its optimization strategies and sales expansion tactics. It also wants to be the go-to for US-based sellers looking to expand in Korea and Japan, as well as Korean and Japanese sellers looking to expand in the US. “The vast majority of online brand sellers in Korea are not aware that selling their brands is even a possibility. We believe that our partnerships with brand owners will provide value to not only the sellers but consumers as a whole by filling the marketplace with great products at affordable prices”, he added.

New Vessel also revealed plans to raise its Series A funding in June, by this time it expects to have completed all its acquisitions.

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