Exclusive: Indonesia’s Muslimmarket.com raises Series A from 500 Startups, others

Muslimmarket.com, that is among Indonesia’s upcoming e-commerce Muslim marketplace platform, has closed its series A funding, that values the company at around $10 million, an executive with the company told this portal.

The startup raised the series A funding from seed stage venture capital firm 500 Startups, a  local investment firm, and  few unnamed individual investors.

Confirming this development to DEALSTREETASIA, the founder of Muslimmarket.com, Riel Tasmaya, said, this funding round would help it promote, market and expand their next phase of growth.

Riel Tasmaya, who also runs a boutique investment bank, and Ben Soebiakto, founder of Kapanlagi.com, started Muslimmarket.com in June 2015 and are also the biggest shareholders in the company.

The platform sells Muslim clothing  for men, women and children, and have almost 150  fashion brands under it. It also sells halal products (allowed under Islamic law) like bags, shoes and even Muslim holy products called  ‘Kurban’ (animal meat used during holy sacrifices).

The company, which started as an e-commerce platform two years back, is now planning to enter its next stage of growth with by the launch of their fashion brand, ‘SUQMA’, during the Muslim’s fasting month. SUQMA is a modern fashion wear brand that they want to introduce during the fasting month.They plan to enter the offline model, and  launch two retail outlets in Jakarta to introduce this brand.

“We want our brand, SUQMA, to become the H&M and Zara for Muslim fashion wear”, Riel says, adding that they are planning to do several road shows, and hold pop ups and Bazaars introducing their new brands in Indonesia.In the long term, the company plans to help Muslim designers to integrate with manufacturers and the country and the company plans to turn into a 100% market place.

Muslimmarket.com  holds around 100-150 Islamic fashion brands, and 7000 SKUs.The company has had more than 330,000 monthly page views in q1 2017. Its largest sources of traffic come from Jakarata, Bandung, Surbaya and Makassar. They are also looking at entering UK, Turkey and even South Africa in the next few years.

In Indonesia, Muslimmarket.com faces competition from similar sites like HijUp and Hijabenka – a Berrybenka owned company,  who have already created a brand name for themselves.

Last year the Indonesian Ecommerce Association named HijUp as one of the 17 most popular fashion e-commerce portals in the nation. HijUp is backed by one of Indonesia’s largest media conglomerates, the Emtek Group, 500 startups and Fenox.

Muslimmarket.com hopes its new strategy of offline business focus would give it a competitive edge.

“Indonesia is still a major offline market, where people want to touch and feel the products. We want to launch a brand in retail stores and gain more margin. While online will help us grow organically, offline presence will help is push our sales higher. We need to go after customers and not to wait for customers to come after you,” Riel says.

Muslim fashion is a big market especially in Indonesia. Experts say that there are opportunities for companies who are focused on this niche vertical. The key success factors include exclusive product selections, great buying experience supported by relevant content and strong engagement, driven by community. But since the market is smaller than general e-commerce, it is important to get the right balance between investing in growth vs achieving profitability.

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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.