Gojek Xcelerate’s fourth cohort comprises 11 startups that provide direct-to-consumer (D2C) services, keeping up with changes in consumers’ spending behavior due to social and travel restrictions brought on by the pandemic.
“Gojek has applied the D2C business model in our business and seen success with it. Based on our experience, we observed that the D2C model works well for startups, as it allows them to directly gather insights and feedback, and make timely adjustments for continuous product improvement,” Gojek Xcelerate lead Yoanita Simanjuntak told KrASIA. “The ability to respond quickly and efficiently to consumers’ requirements has become more important than ever, and we believe that this makes the D2C model very relevant.”
During the application process for this batch, Gojek Xcelerate received 151 applications. The 11 startups were selected as they show a deep understanding of consumer needs, using technology and innovative strategies to engage with customers and improve their products.
Gojek has provided coaching and insights for Xcelerate’s fourth batch of companies, particularly on how to apply the minimum viable point technique to determine when to launch their products or services for mass usage. The 11 startups’ founders also learned about growth hacking methods and impactful data science. Gojek Xcelerate’s partners also offered training on various useful skills—Google’s Founder Lab instructed the founders on business development strategies, UBS taught them about valuation principles, and McKinsey & Company offered mentorship sessions.
“Following the demo day, these startups will remain part of the Gojek Xcelerate network, and will also continue to have access to the necessary support and resources from Gojek. Our aim is to build a strong, vibrant startup ecosystem, and we will continue to be a partner to these startups to support them in their growth journeys,” Simanjutak added.
The 11 startups selected for the fourth batch include companies in many sectors:
- Jejak.in provides AI-based and IoT solutions to accelerate climate action.
- Pura The Purest sells Himalayan salt and seasoning.
- Bartega provides painting classes, denim painting, and other team-building activities in Jakarta and elsewhere in the country.
- Kerokoo designs and sells swimwear and resort wear, including casual apparel and handbags.
- Sare Studio sells pajamas for women, men, and children.
- Mena Indonesia, a social enterprise, works with communities to design products inspired by Indonesian culture and made by local artisans.
- Trope Cosmetics operates an e-commerce platform that carries beauty products.
- Elio, a digital health platform for men, connects patients with medical experts and treatment providers for general health issues.
- WATT – Walk The Talk is a Jakarta-based footwear and lifestyle brand.
- GetGo uses AI to automate the retailing process and connect brands and retailers with customers.
- Rollover Reaction is a local cosmetic brand.
“Through Gojek Xcelerate, we hope to share insights and knowledge that will help them to further strengthen their businesses and thrive in this fast-changing world,” said Simanjutak.
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One common challenge for D2C platforms is customer acquisition. “GetGo’s visual search function is still relatively new to consumers, and we hope to raise awareness among more people on how technology can make one’s shopping experience more convenient. With this in mind, we are focusing our efforts on marketing our platform to consumers, while also exploring new ways to enhance the customer experience,” GetGo co-founder and CEO Erdian Tony told KrASIA.
The entrepreneurs behind Jejak.in share a similar view. As a startup that got its start in the B2B segment, readapting the team’s experience and skills for the consumer market has been challenging. “We have to look at ways to increase our brand’s visibility, while also ensuring that we understand consumer behavior and preferences. To better reach out to the market and raise our brand’s profile, we are focusing on two areas—developing an effective sales and marketing strategy, as well as innovation,” said founder and CEO Arfan Arlanda.
The startups said that Gojek Xcelerate helped them to learn more about the Indonesian consumer market and how to build a product that effectively meets market needs. “The five-day Gojek Xcelerate curriculum was very comprehensive, and the sessions were delivered by the very people who were involved in Gojek’s journey. This made the insights highly relevant and practical. What also stood out was the community of experts within the Gojek Xcelerate ecosystem, whom we had the opportunity to directly interact with and learn from,” Walton Hartanto, co-founder of Elio said to KrASIA.
Launched in September 2019, Gojek Xcelerate counts 35 startups from Indonesia and the Asia Pacific region as alums. The accelerator program focused on Indonesia-based machine learning startups for its first batch, women-led businesses in the Asia Pacific for its second cohort, and Indonesian retail startups for its third batch.