KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 — FashionValet Group founder Datin Vivy Sofinas Yusof said the decision to shut down the online retail platform and focus instead on its two in-house brands dUCk and LILIT received the backing and support of investors.
In a statement to Malay Mail, the entrepreneur also said business has doubled in revenue following the investment by government-linked investment firms Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB).
“All our investors are invested in the entire Group which comprises the third-party brands platform, dUCk and LILIT. Since we have institutional investors, everything we do requires board approval and our investors are supportive of our pivot,” she said.
She said both investors had invested in the group at a time when Putrajaya was encouraging them to participate in start-ups, citing a statement by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
“Since Khazanah and PNB invested, the business has more than doubled in revenue, improved our profit margins and expanded to offline retail. We have done this even through the last two years of Covid where the landscape was very unstable for businesses,” she added.
The statement, issued through her public relations agency Edelman Malaysia, came after much public scrutiny over the e-commerce platform’s sudden closure.
Malay Mail chronicled yesterday how FashionValet, which had racked up massive losses over years, became the darling of investors that included two of the country’s biggest investment funds Khazanah and PNB.
Among those listed as directors are Khazanah’s investment senior vice president Nurul Iman Mohd Zaman and Capital A Group’s (formerly AirAsia Group) president Aireen Omar, according to its latest available filing with the Companies Commission of Malaysia.
Vivy’s husband, Datuk Fadzarudin Shah Anuar, is also one of the directors. Both Fadzarudin and Vivy held 1,691,590 of total shares, making them the biggest individual shareholders, according to the same SSM filing.
MyEG Capital Berhad followed with 423,803 total shares. PNB held 183,785 of total shares.
Vivy explained the decision to close the marketplace was made after “careful consideration, landing on an agreement to focus on our best performing portfolios — our house brands”.
“With regard to the closure of the marketplace platform — the platform closing down was accelerated due to Covid — when many local brands scaled down their business, and this included substantially diminished supply coming into the marketplace,” she said.
PNB and Khazanah Nasional, both state-investment funds, were reported to have invested millions of ringgit back in late 2018 and early 2019 through its Series C rounds of investments.
Both Khazanah and PNB did not respond to Malay Mail’s requests for comment.