The week of September 20 was a busy week for Indonesian social commerce startups. Tuesday,
Monk’s Hill Ventures leads Indonesian DAGANGAN US $ 11.5 million Series A
announced a US $ 11.5 million Series A funding round. Wednesday, focused on Halal
Indonesian Halal-Focused Social Commerce Startup Evermos Nets $ 30 Million Series B
said he raised a US $ 30 million Series B round. And Friday,
Technology in Asia
Meesho Founders Support Funding for KitaBeli A Series Expansion
revealed he raised an undisclosed amount as part of a US $ 10 million Series A round extension six months ago.
That’s at least US $ 41.5 million funneled to three different social commerce startups in four days. One of these fundings was particularly interesting due to the involvement of Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, co-founders of Indian social commerce unicorn Meesho. They participated in the expansion of the 18-month-old Kitabeli Series A alongside investment firms Kopi Kenangan Capital and Banana Capital.
This Indonesia-India link is not new. Meesho, in fact, had entered Indonesia in 2019, but withdrew after the pandemic that hit last year; he decided to concentrate on the defense of his territory. The co-founders of Indian accounting firm Khatabook and business-to-business (B2B) marketplace Udaan have also invested in their Indonesian counterparts, BukuWarung and Ula, respectively.
The reason Indian companies and founders invest in comparable companies in Indonesia is pretty obvious: A similar business model should lead to a similar growth trajectory. However, in the case of Meesho and Kitabeli, that’s not quite the case. Because they follow different business models.
Meesho, for the most part, has been in the service of resellers, while Kitabeli deals exclusively with end consumers. (We already have
The many forks on the way to becoming Indonesia’s first social commerce unicorn
about the different social commerce models in Indonesia.) And if you look at the social commerce sector in Indonesia, more investment has been funneled into businesses with the reseller model — at least US $ 78 million since the year last.
There are two reasons for this. One, quite simply, because there are more platforms following the reseller model in Indonesia. It’s arguably a more intuitive way to start a social commerce startup in the country, as it allows players to tap into 3.5 million.
A small retailer, generally family owned.