The pandemic has triggered more demand for online shopping and fueled many smaller retailers to establish their own online offerings. Japanese commerce enabler AnyMind, which helps brands and influencers' online operations, has closed a ¥5 billion (approximately $36 million) Series D round on the back of that boost to make additional acquisitions in Japan and globally.
The Series D funding, which brings its total funding to date to approximately $91.7 million, consists of ¥4 billion (29.4 million) in equity and ¥1 billion in debt. Investors include JIC Venture Growth Investment, Japan Post Investment, Nomura SPARX Investment, Proto Ventures and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital. Mizuho Bank provided the debt facility. The startup did not disclose its valuation.
AnyMind acquired ENGAWA, a Japan-based cross-border marketing company, in January last year with its Series C proceeds. Prior to that acquisition, AnyMind acquired six companies to acqui-hire and expand its sales channels in different regions, including POKKT, a mobile advertising platform in India; Thailand-based multi-channel network (MCN) Moindy, which helps manage video content for influencers; Acqua Media, a mobile advertising platform in Hong Kong; and LYFT, a D2C fitness brand in Japan.
Most of the acquired companies' founders have remained in their positions in AnyMind to support the continued growth, co-founder and CEO of AnyMind Kosuke Sogo told TechCrunch. Moindy's founder became the company's country manager in Thailand and POKKT's co-founders are now the company's COO and managing director in India and the Middle East, respectively, Sogo added.
Founded in 2016 in Singapore, AnyMind expanded into Southeast Asia, East Asia, India and the Middle East through aggressive acquisitions. The startup shifted its headquarters to Tokyo, Japan in 2019 to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which requires its office be based in Japan. Sogo told TechCrunch that AnyMind received approval for its IPO but scrapped it in March due to the market condition that started to deteriorate.
AnyMind offers a number of services for brands and online business operators. It launched AnyChat, a conversational commerce platform, in March, and AnyX, an e-commerce management platform, in April, which enables e-commerce operations to optimize through central management of multiple e-commerce channels. Sogo told TechCrunch that AnyX is integrated with Asian e-commerce marketplaces like Shopee, Rakuten and Lazada and global e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon and Shopify.
Its manufacturing platform AnyFactory, connected to more than 200 manufacturers across Asia, helps anyone find the best suppliers to make their products. The company's logistics management platform AnyLogi enables D2C and e-commerce brands with fulfillment.
The company currently powers more than 1,000 brands, including TikTok, Canon and Traveloka for marketing and commerce enablement, and over 1,110 publishers, including Pantip, Gizmodo Japan and Anglers, for their advertising monetization and D2C business. It also works with more than 1,400 creators to grow their own D2C brands.
“Many of our customers choose us because they can tap on Asia as a whole -- whether it is influencers across the region, logistics networks, manufacturers, expertise for market expansion and more,” Sogo told TechCrunch.
The company says it posted $174 million in revenue. AnyMind operates 17 offices across 13 markets with more than 1,000 employees.
"Despite COVID-19 and geopolitical situations impacting the world, we have still been able to achieve solid growth as a business," Sogo said. "On the other hand, we are seeing economies across Asia, including our operating markets of ASEAN and India, rapidly regaining growth momentum."