Indonesia’s Mekari raises $50m led by Japanese fintech firm Money Forward

Mekari founders Anthony Kosasih (left) and Suwandi Soh. (Photo courtesy of Mekari)

Mekari, an Indonesian SME-focused SaaS startup, has raised $50 million in a funding round led by Money Forward Inc as it expands its capabilities into financial technology (fintech) services, the company said in a statement on Friday.

Money Forward had led Mekari’s $21 million Series D funding round last year. In total, Mekari has raised more than $70 million to date form investors including East Ventures, Beenext, Mandiri Capital, Alto Partners, and Prasetia.

The startup provides SaaS solutions such as human resource management, payroll, billing, and accounting, among others, helping companies digitise and automate their operations efficiently. Last May, it acquired Qontak, a technology firm that provides customer relationship management (CRM) software to clients.

Mekari plans to spend its fresh funding to expand its fintech capabilities, which could be tailored to its customers’ needs. It will also hire more people, especially in product and engineering teams who will create new solutions for its clients.

“We have started offering services such as earned wage access and business loans. We cooperate with banking partners to be able to provide a contextual service to our customers,” CEO Suwandi Soh told DealStreetAsia.

Earned wage access (EWA) is an employee benefit that allows workers to access their wages on any day of the month. This feature helps workers to manage their financials better and prevents them from falling into the trap of predatory loans.

In Indonesia, there are some dedicated EWA startups such as GajiGesa and East Ventures-backed Wagely.

“We realise that Indonesia has huge potential, as seen from the surge of business and people who are increasingly tech-savvy. We have been working with Mekari for several years and our positive experiences have strongly convinced us that Mekari would be able to tap into its full potential and drive the digitalisation growth in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. We believe that they will become a pivotal platform in empowering businesses and professionals in the country,” Yosuke Tsuji, Money Forward Inc president and CEO, said in the statement.

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