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SuperOrdinary’s Latest Investment Allows Brands to Expand Across Southeast Asia

The business is making a $25 million investment in Crea as it builds out a larger distribution platform.

SuperOrdinary is looking to ramp up sales across Asia, and to do so, has made a $25 million minority investment in Crea.

Crea operates a technology platform meant to help beauty brands expand into the Southeast Asia market. The company’s clients include Lancôme, Kiehl’s, The Body Shop and Clarins, which it sells online in local languages across social media, brand websites and Lazada and Shopee. Crea also provides local logistics services to brands. The company’s sales are expected to triple in 2022, Crea said.

SuperOrdinary has helped brands including Drunk Elephant and The Ordinary expand into China, and has been building out those operations for several years. The business also has a partnership with Amazon for the U.S. market. 

According to SuperOrdinary chief executive officer Julian Reis, the Crea deal will help the company’s partner brands expand throughout Southeast Asia, into countries including Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Together the two companies will build out a new cross-border platform meant to help their collective portfolio of more than 110 brands enter new markets. Crea is also expanding in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

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“What this does is make SuperOrdinary the one-stop shop, partner, for beauty brands to go global across multiple platforms in multiple geographies, and I would say, the geographies which are the most exciting for beauty brands going forward, which are the U.S., China and Southeast Asia,” said Reis.

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“There was a trend toward building brands on platforms globally and to accelerate their distribution by building their brands wherever … the consumer is spending most of their time,” Reis said. “Southeast Asia is one of the geographies that everyone looks at, and because it’s made up of so many different countries and cultures and languages, it becomes a very difficult place to build a brand presence.” 

Traditionally, brands would seek out different partners in each geographic market, Reis said. But with Crea and SuperOrdinary, they can now enter multiple markets with just one partner. The company makes one purchase order and oversees product allocation globally across markets, Reis said. “We’re able to work out which region needs what when, and that helps us run our business much more efficiently than the traditional distribution model,” Reis said.

SuperOrdinary’s brand partners will be able to expand into new geographies with Crea, and local brands that Crea carries will be able to expand to China or the U.S. with SuperOrdinary, Reis said. 

“We look to, in the next couple of months, bring some of those brands into the U.S. from Asia,” Reis said.

The investment follows the company’s continued expansion. Earlier this year, SuperOrdinary received a minority investment from Alliance Consumer Growth, and in September, launched its first incubated brand, Lula.

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