Retail in Asia


SuperOrdinary acquires minority stake in CREA

CREA, a Southeast Asian omnichannel partner for brands, has secured a US$25 million investment from SuperOrdinary, a global distribution partner for beauty brands.

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This strategic partnership will help CREA attract new brands to the region’s flourishing digital commerce ecosystem by offering a one-stop solution covering the United States, China and Southeast Asia. This latest funding takes the total investment in CREA to date to US$38 million.

The minority investment forges a strategic alliance between CREA and SuperOrdinary, which will develop a new cross-border Global Platform network and allow each company’s respective portfolio to seamlessly expand into new markets. CREA started in Thailand in 2019, launched Malaysia and Singapore in March 2021 and plans to open Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines in the near future. Through organic business expansion and revenue synergies from the partnership, CREA is expected to continue its rapid pace of growth with revenue expected to triple in 2022 and grow by 500 percent by 2023.

Over the last year, CREA’s portfolio of brands, spanning across beauty, fast moving
consumer goods and fashion categories, including Kiehl’s, Clarins and Nestle Dolce Gusto, has grown over 400 percent, demonstrating the effectiveness of its platform in driving conversion.

During this same period, SuperOrdinary doubled its revenue as a result of rapid global expansion for its portfolio composed of beauty heavy hitters such as Drunk Elephant, The Ordinary, Supergoop!, and more.

The partnership means consumers in Thailand and Southeast Asia will have an increased choice of global beauty brands to choose from when shopping. Brands will benefit from easier regional market entry via a single solution to reach over 589 million consumers. According to the latest e-Conomy SEA 2021 report by Google, Temasek Bain, the Southeast Asia e-commerce market is expected to reach US$234 billion by 2025.

This partnership comes on the heels of a monumental year for e-commerce in Southeast Asia where digital retail grew 85 percent during the pandemic and 80 percent of all consumers are expected to shop digital by the end of 2021. The beauty and personal care industry in the region is expected to grow by more than 5 percent annually driven by digital commerce penetration, providing SuperOrdinary with a highly attractive market opportunity.

“Southeast Asia presents a unique opportunity for global brands with young digital savvy consumers who are increasing their consumption power and avidly engaging with global trends through digital media. Entering these markets with a digital first approach is key and CREA is uniquely positioned to enable this opportunity with a omnichannel strategy,” said Aimone Ripa di Meana, CREA Co-Founder.

Alessandro Piscini, CREAs Co-Founder, stated “CREA has built a unique value proposition through our proprietary technology, CUSP, logistics infrastructure and a world class team that makes entering Southeast Asia simple for Global brands.”

SuperOrdinary is primed as the next house of global beauty, providing brands with a streamlined solution for growth and expansion with services that include global demand generation, distribution, branding and marketing, consumer data analytics, product registration and more. CREA has operated in a parallel path with similar capabilities and offerings in the Southeast Asia market, utilising its Omnichannel Technology Platform CUSP to gather key business insights, optimise inventory and increase social engagement.

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“We are thrilled to partner with CREA and offer our portfolio of beauty brands a cost-effective, one-stop-shop solution to enter one of the fastest-growing digital consumer markets for beauty and personal care,” said Julian Reis, CEO and Founder of SuperOrdinary.

“Digital commerce in Southeast Asia is experiencing an unprecedented boom and CREA’s team has played an integral role in allowing its portfolio of more than 70 prominent lifestyle brands to capitalise on this trend,” continued Reis.