Jakarta meal delivery startup Black Garlic bags seed funds from Convergence, Skystar

Visual of Black Garlic homepage. January 2016

Jakarta-based meal kit delivery service Black Garlic has raised a seed investment from Convergence Ventures and Skystar Capital.

The startup will use the investment to scale up operations in the Jakarta metro area and diversify its product offerings.

Financial terms of the investment are undisclosed.

First reported in Tech in Asia, its co-founders are Michael Saputra and Olivia Wongso, who possess deep roots and expertise in the food & beverage (F&B) vertical.

Operating along a similar concept to US firm Blue Apron in the US, which aims to make home cooking accessible to everyone, Saputra explains that Black Garlic is geared toward making home cooking a simple decision for urban, middle-class Indonesians, by simplifying and shortening the cooking process.

According to Wongso, Black Garlic currently has around 1,000 customers who have tried the product, claiming that 50 per cent active users that have placed an order in the past three months. Each meal sold by Black Garlic requires 45 minutes to prepare.

Other competitors in this space in Indonesia are HappyRecipe and Berry Kitchen, which offer ready-made meal packs for home cooking with a price range between IDR 60,000 to IDR 85,000 (US$4.33 to US$6.13) per portion.

Black Garlic prices its family packs from IDR 30,000 (US$2.16) per serving, with the option to order five different meals per week in a single bundle costing IDR 600,000 (US$43.26).

Convergence Ventures principal Adrian Li, himself an adopter of Black Garlic’s services, commented: “We chose to invest in Black Garlic for two reasons. First of all, they have an outstanding team. Michael has proven that his experience in Klik-Eat and foodtech execution is outstanding. Olivia, on the other hand, comes from a great pedigree of food preparation.”

Li added, “So in my opinion, Black Garlic really marries tech with restaurant quality dining well. We think this firm can go the distance, and it also saves a great deal of time and money for young families.”

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Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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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.