Indonesia’s SME-focused startup Mekari bags Series A funding from East Ventures, others

Photo by Niko Lienata on Unsplash

Indonesia’s Mekari, which was formed after the merger of four SME-focused SaaS startups, has raised Series A funding from investors including East Ventures, Mandiri Capital Indonesia and Money Forward Japan, the company has confirmed to DealStreetAsia.

Other investors participating in the round, which was closed in December 2018, included Beenext and Midplaza Holding.

The startup declined to confirm the figure or disclose any other financial details of the deal.

Mekari CEO Suwandi Soh told DealStreetAsia that the fresh capital was raised to enhance and further develop its products, fuel its growth and acquire more active users.

The four startups that make up Mekari are human resources software solutions Sleekr and Talenta, accounting platform Jurnal and online tax management platform Klikpajak.

The consolidation was done gradually over the past year, starting with Sleekr’s acquisition of Talenta in May 2018. Since then, the companies have merged various divisions such as human resources, software, accounting, and tax management into one entity.

The connected solutions, Mekari said, offer automation to help users process their payroll, calculate taxes, and administer those in their books in a seamless, faster and precise way, while also minimizing compliance risks resulting from miscalculation.

Since the full consolidation, which was officially announced in April this year, the company claims to have seen remarkable growth.

“The growth rate that we are seeing has been strong since our consolidation, and it was a bit higher than our initial expectation. Our growth trajectory is quite steep, and I can confidently say that we are on track to hit our goal. We are aiming to grow 4X in the next 12 months,” said Soh.

Soh said Mekari, which currently operates in eight cities, will focus on acquiring more users for its core products by expanding to other cities.

“In terms of product, we are working to enhance our products, building more features and security layers. We will also release exciting new functionalities that enable our users to pay their vendor directly from our app and have all transactions reconciled and recorded automatically. It will help SMEs become more efficient in their daily operations,” he said.

Mekari aims to offer an end-to-end solution for SMEs in Indonesia, which are known to be the backbone of the country’s economy. According to the Association of Indonesia Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises data, there are at least 60 million small and medium enterprises in the country, with only around 6 million of them having an online presence.

The sheer size of the SME market in Indonesia and the opportunity at hand has prompted many startups to develop solutions to tackle different SME pain points. However, following the consolidation, Mekari currently sees no direct competitor offering similar integrated solutions for SMEs.

However, one startup that has also been working on building end-to-end solutions for SMEs, albeit through third-party functionalities, is Moka, a mobile point-of-sale platform recently reported to have been acquired by ride-hailing giant GOJEK.

In an interview with DealStreetAsia earlier this year, Moka said it is looking to grow beyond the POS realm and has launched Moka Connect, an open platform which functions like an “app store” for merchants. On it, other apps can build on top of the Moka POS app, while merchants are expected to benefit from the ecosystem of apps.

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.