Indonesia: Online gaming marketplace itemku raises $225K from 500 Startups

Photo by 500 Startups

Five Jack, the makers of  online gaming marketplace itemku, has raised $225,000 in funding from leading seed stage venture capital firm, 500 Startups. 500 Startups’ two Asia-focused funds, 500 Durians and 500 Kimchi, participated in this round.

With the funding, Five Jack will look at expanding to south east Asia, recruiting new talent and “powering up” the current team, especially in the marketing and operation divisions.

itemku, launched in July 2014 as a price comparison and classified ads platform, later re-positioned itself in June 2015 into purveyors of game items and currency in response to the growing problem of secure trading among gamers.

Today, itemku is a fast-growing marketplace for secure in-game transactions, with a money-back guaranteed service. It claims its visitor and transaction numbers have grown eight-fold till now.

“A proven business model executed by an experienced team in one of the largest growing markets, and owning it! This is the kind of stuff investors like me are humbled to be part of,” affirms Khailee Ng, General Partner of 500 Durians.

According to Denis Kim, CEO of Five Jack, the funding from 500 Startups will be a huge boost to the company, which plans to launch an English version and expand throughout Southeast Asia this year.

itemku, Kim believes, is the solution to massive demand for a safe and easy-to-use marketplace for gamers in Indonesia – which he estimates will transact around $1 billion in 5 years.

He added, sellers on itemku are already taking in over Rp20 million ($1,439) per month simply by trading the items he gains during his regular gameplay. Before discovering itemku, sellers used public forums and social media to advertise their items.   

For buyers, seeking out reputable sellers through public forums and social media isn’t only time-consuming; it comes with the risk of fraud or scamming. Since itemku categorises the games, buyers can find sellers easily, rate them, and complete a secure financial transaction with a money-back guaranteed service. Some buyers have undertaken transactions worth over 3 million Rupiahs for single pieces of virtual items. Such cases highlight the success of itemku’s branding image and trust, Kim says.

“Indonesia’s eSports market is similar to how Chinese and Korean markets were in its earlier years. itemku’s growth in the past few months speak for themselves,” says Tim Chae, General Partner, 500 Kimchi, in a press statement.

Also Read: Serviced apartments platform for corporates MetroResidences secures S$1m funding led by 500 Startups

Malaysia: PurelyB raises $500k from 500 Startups, others

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.