Great Deals raises US$12M from Navegar to be the Alibaba of Philippines
The Philippines-based Great Deals E-commerce Corp. has raised US$12M (P 600 million) from Navegar, the largest private equity firm in the country.
The e-commerce enabler plans to use the capital to enhance its IT, infrastructure, warehouse capabilities and technology solutions, as it aggressively expands its presence in the country.
Great Deals aims to be the Philippines’s own Alibaba and Baozun, China’s leading e-commerce enabler.
“We are ecstatic to continue building and implementing successful online retail, distribution and marketing strategies for our 250+ brand clients in partnership with Navegar,” said Founder and CEO Steve Sy, who is also an Alibaba eFounder fellow. “To dominate the market here in the Philippines, we will work closely with Navegar, whose vast experience in building high-growth companies will ensure the continued expansion of our business.”
Sy founded Great Deals in 2014 after spending many years as an entrepreneur in the retail and e-commerce sectors. He identified a glaring need to enable entrepreneurs like himself to succeed in the internet economy.
Great Deals offers end-to-end e-commerce services, handling everything from digital content, web design, analytics and chat support to warehousing and fulfilment.
The clientele includes multi-national companies Reckitt Benckiser, Nestle, Samsonite, Reebok, Crocs, L’Oreal, Abbott and Unilever, among others.
“E-commerce is a sunrise industry in the Philippines, and there are so many opportunities looming on the horizon. Our mission, in Great Deals, is to uplift Filipino lives through the digital economy, harnessing local technology, human resources and boundless creativity to bring the best we can offer to the Philippines,” Sy added.
Navegar is a Manila-based firm that invests exclusively in companies with exposure to the Philippines. It was founded in 2012 by its Managing Partners Nori Poblador and Javier Infante. Navegar manages two pools of money, Navegar Fund I and Navegar Fund II, with total assets under management of close to US$300 million.
“The Philippines has a very low e-commerce penetration, at less than 2 per cent of gross domestic product, compared to China’s nearly 40 per cent and 25 per cent in the U.S (according to Forbes). There is no way to go but up for smart Philippines e-commerce,” said Navegar’s Infante.
“It is just the beginning. The best way for an investor to participate in this upswing is to partner with a successful business that has already established strong relationships with top brands in the market,” he added.