AC Ventures leads seed round of Indonesian restaurant ERP startup ESB

Vegetables and a pizza.

AC Ventures – the new entity formed after the merger of Indonesian VCs Agaeti and Convergence – has led the seed funding round for local restaurant ERP startup, ESB, just before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, according to two people close to the development.

The seed round is said to be in the sub-$3 million range, the people mentioned above said. The company co-founder declined to talk about the fundraising exercise while AC Ventures did not comment on the development.

ESB is a restaurant SaaS company that was started in October 2018 by co-founder and CEO Gunwana Woan. Its subscription-based software covers the entire gamut of restaurant operations.

In 2020, the company plans to add B2C and marketplace apps to its offerings. Gunawan, who has experience in the F&B space, describes ESB as a restaurant solution provider instead of a product that often makes integration difficult.

The company works with over 100 restaurant brands covering 2,000 outlets. Some of the brands it is associated with include Auntie Anne’s, Pepper Lunch, Shaburi, Kintan, Kimukatsu, among others.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the restaurant industry, ESB claims to be enabling restaurants to transition to the cloud-kitchen model, thereby creating a new business avenue for the struggling players. In the short term, the company is focussed on getting more and more outlets on the cloud kitchen model.

Gunawan said, “we enhanced our ordering system into an application for delivery service, without any installation. We have tested [this] in the early weeks of April with promising results [or restaurant sales]. Now we are launching the second phase to help restaurants sell through delivery. Some groups see this as a new source of revenue, even after we pass this crisis [the pandemic]”.

Apart from inventory management and accounting systems, ESB’s restaurant ERP covers point of sale, ordering system, kitchen ordering system, pre-order (for pickup) and delivery and split-bill payment capability on the table.

The recently-formed AC Ventures is in the market to raise a new fund to invest in up to 35 early-stage, tech-enabled startups in Indonesia over the next three years. It did not disclose the corpus it is seeking to raise. The new entity will follow the same investment thesis as Agaeti and Convergence, focusing on sectors such as e-commerce, fintech, and digital media-enabled services.

Convergence and Agaeti have backed startups such as Sorabel, PayFazz, Kargo Technologies and Fore Coffee.

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.