Impact investment fund Patamar Capital has made its first direct investment from its women SME-focused fund by leading a round in Indonesia’s farm-to-table fresh produce distribution platform SayurBox. The round was joined by Insignia Ventures and a clutch of angel investors.
The investment by Patamar, estimated to be in the region of $200,000-300,000, was made through the women SME-focused impact investment fund launched last year in collaboration with the Australian government’s Investing in Women initiative.
Users can order organic and hydroponic vegetables from farm-to-table on SayurBox’s website. It provides five deliveries a week and claims to be focused on waste elimination and fair-trade pricing. It is set to open its first offline story in the country, with a soft opening scheduled for January 22 in Plaza Indonesia.
“We believe there is a huge opportunity in the fresh produce e-commerce space and SayurBox has proven that they can execute well and achieve impressive early traction. From a gender lens perspective, they empower farmer partners, farmer communities and local producers to get better access to market, and a lot of those involved in the farmer communities are women,” said Dondi Hananto, Partner, Patamar Capital.
The Investing in Women fund focuses on early-stage investments in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. It plans to make 6-8 direct investments of between $200,000 and $300,000 in women-led businesses at the seed or pre-Series A stage. The fund will make investments between July 2017 and July 2019.
The women SME-focused fund also runs an impact accelerator programme where four of the 12 participating companies are chosen by peers to receive $25,000 in funding. The first batch of the accelerator was organized in October 2017 and the second batch is scheduled to be held in the second quarter of this year. Patamar and the Australian government’s Investing in Women initiative have also adopted the mandate of helping selected women-led/owned businesses in these three countries source and close deals.
The four Indonesian firms that were selected to receive $25,000 in seed investment in the first batch were Ladang Lima, which makes gluten-free flour, snacks, and noodles made from cassava; Panen ID, which enables direct trading in produce for farmers; healthy snacks maker Hello Sunshine; and ready-to-drink specialty beverage maker Rahsa Nusantara. Interestingly, SayurBox had also participated in the first batch of the accelerator.