Yami Raises $50 Million to Sell Asian Snacks, Beauty Products and Home Goods Online

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

Yami
Image courtesy of Yami

Yami, an online store that sells Asian snacks, beauty products and home goods, took the wraps off a $50 million Series B funding round on Wednesday.

Two venture firms co-led the round: Menlo Park’s Altos Ventures and New York’s Balsam Bay Partners. GGV Capital, also based in Menlo Park, and JPMorgan chipped in as well.


The Brea, Calif.-based marketplace carries popular Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Southeast Asian brands—from Japanese snack-maker Glico (famous for its Pocky treats) to Dr. Jart+, a South Korean skincare company.

With the new cash, Yami plans to expand its inventory, improve delivery times via a new East Coast warehouse and beef up its supply chain technology.

A five-year stay as an international student in Kansas, “in the middle of nowhere,” inspired founder and CEO Alex Zhou to launch Yami in 2013. “I literally had to drive over two hours to find Chinese chili sauce or instant noodles,” Zhou told dot.LA, calling his stint in Kansas a “blessing in disguise” that drove him to relocate to Los Angeles to start the company.

“At least it can benefit customers like me—who live in the United States, originally from Asia—looking for the products they’re used to when they were in their mother country,” Zhou added.

Some 2 million customers later, Yami says it now carries more than 260,000 stock-keeping units (SKUs) from over 4,000 brands. In addition to its home base in Southern California, it operates a second headquarters in Xi'an, China.

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