Unproven business models dim Una Brands' ray of hope for D2C firms – The Ken

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Singapore-based Una Brands has acquired 24 brands, including Bellaforte, TSM, and Marvable, in the past two years.
It has raised US$30 million led by White Star Capital and Alpha JWC Ventures to buy more brands in Asia
Globally, the VC market has gone cold to brand roll-ups, making financing harder, with top firm Thrasio downsizing
Retaining entrepreneurs to run the brands they started as business operators can be difficult, since they miss the autonomy of being standalone businesses
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Since its inception in 2017, Singapore-based direct-to-consumer (D2C) company Marvable’s reach was limited. But the pandemic turned things around for the owner of office-furniture brands like ErgoTune and EverDesk+.
Most office workers across Southeast Asia had to stay home, and some needed to upgrade their remote-work setup with a bigger desk, a better chair, a new arm for the extra screen, and a sturdy shelf to hold the folders. 
But it wasn’t just the pandemic-driven need for office furniture that drove Marvable’s success. In January 2022, Marvable’s founders and Singapore Polytechnic schoolmates Joshua Chan, Damon Lye Yi Hao, and Jake Tan Jun Kiat signed their company over to Una Brands, an e-commerce aggregator. 

Rahul has over two decades of experience in journalism across Asia. He’s worked across top publications such as The Economic Times, Business Today, and Campaign Asia-Pacific and worked in Bangalore, Mumbai, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur.
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