Indonesian e-commerce startup Kudo raises ‘seven digit’ Series A round led by GREE, East Ventures

Kudo is an online-to-offline (O2O) technology startup based in Jakarta. Visual: Team Kudo

Indonesia’s Kudo, an online-to-offline (O2O) technology startup based in Jakarta, Monday said it had bagged a ‘seven-digit funding round’ led by venture capital firms GREE and East Ventures. The other investors in this round included 500 Startups and Singapore-based IMJ Investment Partners.

Kudo had received seed funding from East Ventures in October 2014. The company said it will use the new round of funding to expand regionally to reach 1,000 agents in the next three to six months.

The e-commerce startup is targeting the middle class who are traditionally non tech-savvy and thus less inclined to transact online. Its business model involves bringing e-commerce to the traditionally hard-to-reach customers through its agents who are using its digital kiosk.

For East Ventures, this marks its third funding deal in Indonesia in under a month. In April, furniture ecommerce site Livaza has secured an undisclosed amount from this early stage fund that focuses on consumer web, mobile and enterprise solution startups in South East Asia and Japan. Last month, Otten Coffee, an Indonesian online store specialising in coffee-related products, had also raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from East Ventures.

Kuan Hsu, Principal of GREE Ventures, said, “The funds will be used to expand our wildly successful pilot program launched in early December. Kudo will accelerate the growth of online transactions in Indonesia by providing a platform to bridge the gap between the digital e-commerce space and offline retail space.”

GREE Ventures Inc makes investments in early stage – pre-Series A and Series A – start-up companies that have the potential to play an active regional role in East Asia and Southeast Asia.

Willson Cuaca, co-founder and managing partner of East Ventures added: “Albert Lucius (CEO and co-founder) and Agung Nugroho (COO and co-founder) have been showing determination to address the 81.4 per cent unbanked population in Indonesia. Only 19.6 per cent of Indonesia people have access to bank and financial product according to World Bank Global Financial Index, which is the lowest in South East Asia after Vietnam at 21.4 per cent. The opportunity is humongous.”

The Boston Consulting Group has forecast that an additional 70 million in Indonesia’s middle class by 2020. However, while there has been significant growth of customer spending, there is still a sizable gap in the necessary payment, logistics, and Internet infrastructure. A comprehensive report by Ernst and Young in 2012 indicated that less than 6 per cent of Indonesians have access to credit cards.

Kudo says it helps solve problems around trust and payments for consumers buying online through its unique agent-led approach, enabling the e-commerce market to grow in step with the rising middle class.

500 Startups, launched by PayPal and Google alumni, based in Silicon Valley, is among the most active seed stage investor globally, with over 1,000 investments in 50 plus countries, and it also has a dedicated Southeast Asian fund called 500Durians and has invested in leading Southeast Asian companies like Grabtaxi, iMoney, Carousell, while IMJ Investment Partners is a Singapore-based VC focusing on investing in early stage startups from South East Asia and Japan.

Here are some of East Ventures’ latest deals

Livaza raises undisclosed seed round from East Ventures

Otten Coffee raises Series A funding from East Ventures

Thai online marketplace Blisby raises $300k from East Ventures, DeNA, 500 Startups

Oddle secures $718k in funding round led by East Ventures

Shopback secures $600k seed funding from East Ventures & Accel-X

Indonesia-based Jurnal receives undisclosed seed funding from East Ventures

East Ventures, 500 Startups lead seed funding for Kaodim

Shoppr raises $400k seedfund from 500 startups, East Ventures

Bornevia raises Series A funding from East Ventures, Beenos Partners

 

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.