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Investments in Asia-Pacific shift focus to online retail channel, says GlobalData

Venture capitalists (VCs) are looking to capitalise on the growing demand for online retailing, especially in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, which can be attributed to the increasing use of smartphones coupled with growing internet penetration, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.   

The company’s latest report, ‘Smart Money Investing in the Retail Industry in Q4 2017’, says that despite a 4 per cent drop in the share of VC funding deals from 49 per cent in Q3 2017, the APAC region still accounted for USD420.9 million of the total investments (USD937.3 million) across the globe during the reporting period.  
 
Vijay Varma, Retail Market Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Venture capitalists are leveraging the growing demand for online retailing, especially in the APAC region. The funding is being utilised by online retailers to broaden their reach and introduce new product categories along with expanding their reach into other countries.” For instance, Pomelo Fashion Co, an online apparel retailer based in Thailand, secured USD19 million in Series B round of funding led by JD.com, Inc. to expand its reach and product portfolio. 
 
GlobalData’s analysis on sector-wise investments also reveals that in APAC, the majority of VC funding is focused on food and grocery (F&G) sector, in line with growing consumer preference for packaged foods along with increasing demand for organic/natural products. For instance, Prompt Care, Inc. (UrFresh), a Chinese fresh produce e-commerce company that delivers fresh produce items in an hour, secured USD15 million in Series B+ funding led by Haier Capital.

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