SEA Digest: Warung Pintar launches new platform; IMDA pledges $22m for 5G support

Photo: Warung Pintar website

Indonesian micro-retail tech startup Warung Pintar has launched an online platform for helping owners of warungs to order goods from distributors faster. Meanwhile, Singapore’s state-run Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has announced another $22 million to support 5G developers.

Indonesia’s Warung Pintar launches new platform

Indonesia’s micro-retail tech startup Warung Pintar has launched an online platform for owners of mom-and-pop stores, or warungs, to conduct bulk shopping from distributors.

Named “Grosir Pintar”, the platform allows warung owners to select products from over 200 distributor partners, who can then send the goods within three hours.

“This service can help them fulfil emergency grocery needs, making it easier for warung owners with limited cash flow,” Agung Bezharie Hadinegoro, CEO and co-founder of Warung Pintar said in a statement. According to the statement, warung owners on the platform will only need 43 minutes to order goods. They would need only 14 hours to wait for supplies to come in. There are also same-day services available that enable delivery within 2.5 hours.

An internal survey by Warung Pintar showed that warung owners encountered up to 28% decrease in revenue due to the pandemic lockdown measures. Warungs near crowded places, such as schools, experienced a more drastic slump of 80%.

In October 2020, Warung Pintar partnered with local accounting platform BukuWarung to develop digital solutions for accommodating the specific needs of MSMEs, such as the digital bookkeeping and stock fulfillment facilities.

Backed by 10 investors, including EV Growth, Line Ventures, Vertex Ventures, and OVO Fund, Warung Pintar’s latest funding was in January 2019 when it raised $35.5 million.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government has set a target to help 10 million MSMEs to go digital by the end of 2020, as it looks to boost digital adoption amid the country’s booming digital economy, which is assumed to reach $150 billion by 2025.

Singapore’s IMDA announces additional $22m 5G grant

Singapore’s state-run Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will pour an additional S$30 million ($22 million) to its 5G Innovation grant announced last year.

The grant aims to drive the commercial adoption of 5G networks by supporting local firms in leveraging the fifth-generation cellular network that promises data transfer at 10 times faster speeds compared with 4G. The fund will also support solution providers and technology developers commercialising 5G solutions by making them accessible to more companies.

To apply for the grant, applicants need to indicate a significant value and impact that their product will provide to enterprises. They will also need to be a Singaporean registered company and share a report of their operationalisation plan, commercialisation plan, and business model.

Approved projects will have 70%  of the project’s qualifying costs fully paid by the government.

“With the previous fund, we wanted to be an early adopter (of 5G) and kickstart small-scale pilots. But now that 5G is in the process of rolling out, the emphasis is on driving commercial adoption by actual companies in actual use cases,” IMDA chief executive Lew Chuen Hong said.

In the past, IMDA has advocated several initiatives to drive innovation and adoption of 5G in Singapore, which focused on six key verticals, such as smart estates, urban mobility, maritime, and robotics.

In April last year, it awarded Singtel and a joint venture between StarHub Mobile and M1 with licences to build two nationwide standalone (SA) 5G networks in Singapore, currently available in the region’s essential town centres.

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.