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E-commerce startup Intrepid Group bags pre-Series B funding co-led by Thakral, Sun SEA Capital

SINGAPORE-HEADQUARTERED e-commerce startup Intrepid Group has raised an undisclosed sum in a pre-Series B round co-led by mainboard-listed property investor Thakral Corp and existing investor Sun SEA Capital.

Sun SEA Capital is a venture capital firm backed by Sunway Group, a Malaysia conglomerate focused on real estate, construction, education, healthcare, retail and hospitality.

The funding will be used to help brands and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) "accelerate their growth" on e-commerce platforms such as Lazada or Shopee across South-east Asia, Intrepid, Thakral and Sun SEA Capital said in a joint statement on Thursday.

Thakral's group chief executive officer (CEO) and executive director, Inderbethal Singh Thakral, noted that the group embarked on the initial investment to have "fuller access" to the e-commerce market in South-east Asia.

He added: "South-east Asian e-commerce, while still small relative to China, is growing very fast: According to a 2019 Google Temasek study, South-east Asian e-commerce volumes have multiplied by 10 between 2015 and today, and are expected to more than triple again by 2025, which will offer significant business opportunities."

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Said Evan Cheah, general partner of Sun SEA Capital and executive vice-president of Sunway Group: "Sun SEA Capital is backing the digital transformation of retail in Malaysia and throughout South-east Asia. We believe that the Intrepid team and its track record show that they are able to boost brands' e-commerce presence and succeed in this new retail paradigm."

Besides Singapore, Intrepid also has operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong. It serves more than 50 brands across the region including 3M, Colgate, P&G, Kiehl's and Xiaomi.

Charles Debonneuil, CEO of Intrepid and former chief marketing officer and co-founder of Lazada Group, said: "With Covid-19, businesses have come to the conclusion that digitisation is no longer a nice-to-have, but an absolute must. For the retail industry, e-commerce has become a top priority - both for international brands and SMEs."

Thakral shares last traded at S$0.42 on Thursday, down S$0.01 or 2.3 per cent. There were no trades of the counter as at 11.46am on Friday.

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