Shenzhen-based investor Steven Hu has led a consortium committing AU$7 million in fresh capital into retailer Aumake, which operates an online platform connecting Asian influencers with quality Australian and New Zealand brands.
Hu, a former partner of a large Hong Kong-based venture-capital firm, has been an active investor in the Chinese consumer technology sector for a decade. Aumake executive chairman Keong Chan said Hu approached AuMake about a stake last October after the company revealed its live-streaming, influencer strategy.
“Given his firsthand investment experience with the rapid evolution of consumer technology in China, Steven saw the significant potential for our business to grow exponentially with this new business model,” said Chan. “We look forward to leveraging his extensive network of co-investors and operators within the consumer technology field in China.
“This placement will enable us to fast-track marketing and growth initiatives, with plans to drive substantial user uptake and sales growth, as well as continued technology buildout. Key technology developments will focus on popular social e-commerce functionalities, such as short form video, gamification, and group buying capabilities.”
The funds will be deployed on promoting and marketing the new online platform in Asia to increase gross merchandise volume and draw new users, as well as the continued build out of Aumake’s social e-commerce platform, including peer-to-peer review, short-form video, gamification and group buying capability. The company’s downtown Sydney flagship store will also be refurbished and relaunched.
“While our new social e-commerce platform is already generating strong active new user growth and repeat purchasing, the placement supports our commercial rollout including marketing activities which will significantly increase our platform’s visibility in Mainland China,” said Chan. “It also enables us to invest in direct marketing campaigns for new brands and the introduction of profit-sharing models to drive influencer interaction and sales conversion.”
He said the refurbishment of the Sydney store would be completed in time for the anticipated return of overseas students and tourists to the city when the Covid crisis ends. The company will use the store to encourage repeat purchases and to convert physical shoppers to the online platform.
“We continue to look forward, and firmly believe China with its 1.4 billion population and ~$140b of annual trade with Australia, will continue to rely heavily on the clean, green products that Australia and New Zealand produce.”