Indonesian social commerce startup Chilibeli bags $10m Series A led by Lightspeed

Indonesia-based social commerce startup Chilibeli has raised a Series A round of $10 million led by US venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Other VCs participating in the round include Golden Gate Ventures, Sequoia Surge, Kinesys Group, and Alto Partners, the company said in a statement.

Founded by Alex Feng, Damon Yue and Matt Li, Chilibeli enables online and offline shopping of fresh produce and other household items by connecting farmers, suppliers, and consumers through its network of agents.

Its agents, whom it refers to as mitras, are mostly housewives and earn a cut of every transaction.

Since its inception, the company claims to have gained 150 per cent month-on-month growth and created over 300 direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs for Mitra Chilibeli in Indonesia.

“In many ways, the Chilibeli team is tapping on something that other platforms to date haven’t been able to successfully leverage: the trusted social circle,” said Justin Hall, partner at Golden Gate Ventures. “By building a technology platform that taps into everyday Indonesian’s network, they’re unlocking new, innovative ways to shop, collaborate, and even earn a living.”

According to Chilibeli CEO Feng, the fresh capital will be used to strengthen its communities in Jakarta, Tangerang Selatan, and Depok, as well as expanding its reach to Bogor and Bekasi. Part of the funds will also go towards Chilibeli’s user interface and experience and warehouse in Depok.

The $10 million Series A round comes only seven months after the company’s inception, which Chilibeli says makes it one of the fastest-growing startups in Southeast Asia.

As a player that leverages technology to connect farmers and consumers, Chilibeli competes with a host of other startups such as East Ventures-backed Kedai Sayur, Alpha JWC-backed TaniHub and Patamar-backed Sayurbox.

In terms of its business model, Chilibeli shares a similar social commerce model with Jungle Ventures-backed Evermos, which provides a sales platform that incentivises individuals to share various Muslim products on their messaging applications or social media channels, and earn a commission from every sale generated.

We reported in February that multi-stage VC firm Lightspeed Venture Partners is opening its first Southeast Asian office in Singapore. The VC has appointed its first employee, Pachara Lawjindakul, to be based out of Singapore according to her LinkedIn profile.

The VC firm made its first Southeast Asia investment in 2018 by backing ride-hailing major Grab. It also invested in a seed funding round for Indonesian logistics startup Shipper in 2019.

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.