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