Indonesian fintech platform BukuKas bags $10m Series A led by Sequoia India

From left to right: Lorenzo Peracchion, BukuKas co-founder and COO and Krishnan Menon, BukuKas co-founder and CEO

BukuKas, a digital ledger app for micro, small, and medium enterprises in Indonesia, has raised $10 million in a Series A funding round led by Sequoia Capital India, the company said in a statement.

Existing investors Saison Capital, January Capital, Founderbank Capital, Cambium Grove Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, and Amrish Rau also participated in the round, which brings the total funds raised by BukuKas to $22 million.

The fresh capital will be used to accelerate merchant acquisition, strengthen BukuKas’ engineering and product capabilities in both its Jakarta and Bangalore, India offices, as well as expand the range of services offered to merchants in line with the company’s vision to provide an end-to-end software stack to small businesses, it said. 

Launched in December 2019 and incubated by Whiteboard Capital, BukuKas introduced itself in the market as a solution that helps small businesses manage their financial flows more effectively with easy-to-use digital bookkeeping that traders can download through their smartphones.

It aims to become a one-stop-shop for SMEs to manage their financial and business operations, and is set to release multiple new products and features on its app soon.

As of November 2020, its platform has a registered user base of 3.5 million small merchants and retailers, and has crossed 1.8 million monthly active users (MAU). In November, BukuKas users recorded $17.4 billion worth of transactions on an annualised basis using the platform, a figure corresponding to over 1.5% of Indonesia’s GDP. 

The Jakarta-based company had also announced a strategic acquisition of fellow digital ledger app Catatan Keuangan Harian, in September.

The deal with Catatan Keuangan, which claims a base of 300,000 monthly active users, will help expand BukuKas’ market share, as it attempts to fight off competition from other players in its space, including BukuWarung which is a Y Combinator graduate and backed by a host of regional and global investors.

“While digital bookkeeping is a highly competitive sector, BukuKas has carved out a strong leadership position in the market within just 12 months from launch, both in terms of scale and user engagement,” said Bukukas co-founder and CEO Krishnan Menon.

“This round is an important step for us to continue to work towards our mission of empowering 60 million small merchants and retailers in Indonesia to go digital,” he added.

The investment by Sequoia India is a follow-up investment into BukuKas as the startup had earlier received funding from the VC firm as part of its Surge incubator programme. Other investors that backed the startup’s $9 million pre-Series A round were Saison Capital, Speedinvest, S7V, January Capital, and Cambium Grove Capital.

“Small businesses across the world are rapidly adopting software to digitize their businesses. BukuKas, an early-mover in this space in Indonesia, has seen tremendous customer pull, in the past 12 months. It is a testament to the market need and product quality, and is reflected in the strong underlying metrics of product-market fit including industry-leading retention and engagement numbers,” said Seqoia Capital India managing director Abheek Anand.

While continuing to aggressively expand its business, BukuKas says it will simultaneously be investing substantial resources in product innovation, by upgrading features and services for the convenience of users. 

The company recently released an inventory management module in the app, which allows small merchants to keep track of their stock movement without incurring the cumbersome frameworks that characterise current inventory management solutions. 

Among the other in-app features to be launched going forward are digital payments, which will enable merchants to collect money from their customers using a variety of payment options in the app; expense analytics, which allows users to understand what cost buckets are affecting their profit the most; and invoice auto-generation, which allows users to build an invoice with one tap and share it with customers.

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.