Kalanick’s fund makes SE Asia debut, joins Kargo’s $7.6m Sequoia-led round

Travis Kalanick
Travis Kalanick. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Indonesia-based Kargo Technologies on Wednesday announced that it had raised a $7.6-million seed funding round led by Sequoia Capital India and joined by Uber co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick’s 10100 Fund.

DEALSTREETASIA had earlier in the day reported that Kalanick had picked a stealth Indonesian logistics startup co-founded by former Uber Indonesia country manager Tiger Fang for his first Southeast Asia investment.

According to an official statement, Kargo’s round was backed by Pandu Sjahrir of Agaeti Ventures, Northstar Group co-founder Patrick Walujo, Intudo Ventures, ZhenFund, ATM Capital and InnoVen Capital.

The startup’s co-founder, the statement confirmed, is Fang, who was the general manager for Uber in western China before taking charge of its Indonesia operations. He was also part of the founding team at Lazada Thailand and Vietnam.

Confirming the DEALSTREETASIA report, the statement disclosed that Fang’s co-founder and Kargo CTO is Yodi Aditya, the former CEO of logistics and freight exchange platform Kargo.co.id. The new startup is expected to compete with his older firm for market share.

Kargo Technologies describes itself as an online freight logistics marketplace that connects commercial shippers with truckers across Indonesia. It says its platform will allow shippers, transporters and truckers to connect, transact and track shipments in real time.

“Kargo’s platform is designed to solve the problem of unreliable availability, opaque pricing and lack of trust with payment cycles with an easy-to-use mobile app,” said Kargo CEO Tiger Fang in a statement.

The investment by 10100 marks the first Southeast Asia deal for Kalanick, who launched the fund in March 2018. The fund focuses on investments in real estate, e-commerce and emerging innovations in China and India.

Kalanick, who was ousted from Uber in 2017 after a series of scandals, has made two publicly known investments from the fund so far. In March, he acquired a $150-million controlling stake in City Storage Solutions, the Los Angeles-based parent of kitchen rental service CloudKitchens. In June 2018, 10100 invested in US-based real estate marketplace Opendoor.

The South China Morning Post had in February reported that Kalanick was planning to bring CloudKitchens to China in partnership with Zhang Yanqi, the former COO of bicycle-sharing firm Ofo. Based on the smart or virtual kitchen concept, the venture allows entrepreneurs to set up and share kitchen space for the purpose of catering exclusively to those ordering in.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Kalanick may soon face competition from a familiar name. Uber, it said, is currently conducting a pilot programme for shared kitchens, which would complement its Uber Eats food delivery business. It remains to be seen whether Uber would jump into the business itself or partner with players such as Kalanick’s venture.