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S’pore retailer Naiise acquired by WestStar Group, helmed by ex-honestbee CEO Ong Lay Ann

naiise ong lay ann

Following the news of homegrown multi-label retailer Naiise’s online comeback, it announced today (September 16) that it has been acquired by WestStar Group for an undisclosed sum.

​WestStar Group Inc is an independent multi-portfolio investment company that provides independent and professional investment advice, and personalised investment management services to entrepreneurial families and institutions.

It has since completed the acquisition of Naiise’s online marketplace, as well as its accompanying trademarks and social media accounts.

“Under new ownership, the priority will be to build and improve on the Naiise platform to ensure its long-term sustainability and scalability for a wider creative ecosystem. Naiise will also continue to pursue its commitment to championing local designs, creatives and artisans,” it said.

What’s different however is that sellers will be now be “paid instantly upon every successful order fulfilment,” it added.

Previously, products are sold on a consignment basis where suppliers are paid only for the merchandise sold, minus a commission fee of between 30 and 45 per cent of the retail price.

It added that an incubator model for upcoming and incoming designers and “buy now pay later” concepts are also in the works.

Naiise said that it will be featuring more hyper-local, eco-friendly and independent international brands in the coming months. Over 500 merchants will be featured gradually on the platform, as well as debut from new brands.

To show its commitment in supporting local businesses, Naiise is extending an exclusive invitation for merchants, which includes waiver of listing fees and reduced last mile delivery rates, until 31 December 2021.

“In line with its mission of inspiring creativity and connecting communities, Naiise aspires to be at the forefront of aggregating a community that has always appreciated local designs,” said Ong Lay Ann, CEO of Weststar Group.

“The creative ecosystem is fragmented and the reintroduction of Naiise marketplace, will allow both consumers and merchants to connect through a dedicated platform. I encourage consumers to support these local designers, creatives and artisans through this difficult period and beyond,” he added.

Ong is also the former CEO of the now-defunct honestbee. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has been the founder and director of WestStar Group Family Office since 2001.

He also became the director and chairman of WestStar Industrial Ltd since October 2014, where he is responsible for the development and determination of WSI’s strategies and policies, and ensuring that all key issues are identified timely and appropriately discussed by the Board.

He also identified himself as the director of Asia Digital Ventures, as well as the director of ISDN Investments Pte Ltd.


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Featured Image Credit: Naiise / honestbee

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