With the acquisition in place, Shannon Kalayanamitr, CEO and Founder, MOXY, will join WhatsNew as Group Chief Marketing Officer, managing five e-commerce retail sites regionally. The five sites are: Petloft, Venbi, Sanoga, Lafema, and MOXY.
“In emerging markets like Southeast Asia, supplier relationships take a long time to build and getting the quality and amount of inventory MOXY had already built would have taken massive time and effort,” said Bounthay “Thai” Khammanyvong, Group CEO, WhatsNew. He also told e27 that other e-commerce companies the firm met with did not seem to be aligned with the vision of WhatsNew, which is to become a lifestyle destination site.
He added, “The rapid growth of e-commerce in Southeast Asia has resulted in both internal and external competitive forces, with international players such as Alibaba and Amazon looking to enter the market. Unlike in China, where Alibaba and Jingdong still largely enjoy a closed market, e-commerce players here have to move fast to stay competitive. Acquisition is the fastest and most strategic way to grow.”
On Kalayanamitr’s part, she also saw that WhatsNew shares her vision of growing a lifestyle brand. “Many brands don’t want to put their products into online marketplaces for fear of cheapening their brand image,” she said. “We joined forces with WhatsNew because they shared our vision in the rise of boutiques and lifestyle.”
Going forward, WhatsNew will focus on growing the business regionally. Today, it has operations in Thailand, and is looking at expanding into markets such as Indonesia and the Philippines in the near future. “Now we want to look at replicating that (success) in other markets and look forward to leveraging the regional opportunities while we are in our expansion stage,” said Khammanyvong.
Disclaimer: Ardent Capital, which is an investor in WhatsNew Group, is also an investor in e27‘s parent company Optimatic Pte Ltd.
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