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.
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.