Indonesian ride-hailing giant Gojek has chosen nine local retail startups in the fast-moving consumer goods sector for the third batch of its Gojek Xcelerate accelerator program.
Gojek said the startups were selected because they are witnessing the fast-changing behavior of consumers seeking a faster and more convenient way to purchase products and services. Through Gojek Xcelerate, the retailers will gain access to training and learn how to adapt to the rapid changes in consumer preferences.
The nine startups selected for the third batch are as follows:
- Gigel is a rental platform that focuses on baby and kid equipment. It has 177,184 registered users on its platform as of 2019.
- Sugar Technology is a smart suitcase, backpack, and padlock producer. It sells the products through its website.
- Kiddo is an edtech platform that provides activities for parents and children. It works closely with educational activity providers to reach the target market and manage bookings.
- Mad for Makeup is a cosmetic products seller that claims to offer high-quality products at a cheaper price than other brands.
- Callista is a personalized skincare product seller. It analyzes customers’ skin conditions through WhatsApp before providing the correct skincare solutions.
- Etanee is a supply chain marketplace that delivers fresh produce to micro, small, and medium-sized businesses. It focuses on frozen chicken and meat.
- Meyer Food is a poultry supplier integrated with chicken farms to help maintain the price and quality of its products.
- Pijak Bumi is a leather goods producer that uses vegetable-tanned leather. It sells its products online through its website.
- Heiden Heritage is a footwear seller that employs local craftsmen. It started to operate in 2016.
“Startups [should] analyze consumer behavior data to find a proper solution,” Ainul Yaqin, chief marketing officer of Gojek, said. “It’s important to [speed up] your growth and keep your sustainability.”
Two of the main challenges retail startups face are market acceptance and user trust. “We sell skincare products online, while people tend to trust skincare companies that have a physical presence,” Ryan Narenda, CEO of Callista, told Tech in Asia.
Baby-focused rental marketplace Gigel admits that it also faces a similar problem. The company said it has to change customers’ behavior first before it can convince parents to join its platform as merchants.
Sugar Technology finds it challenging to retain customers. As a hardware startup, it needs a long turnaround time to create products.
In general, the participants hope to learn strategies to hack their growth and have the opportunity to tap into Gojek’s network of users, merchants, and investors. “We also hope that we could collaborate with other participating startups to create new products,” Andy Gozali, founder of Sugar Technology, said.
Launched in September 2019, Gojek Xcelerate has helped 24 startups from seven countries so far. The accelerator program focused on Indonesia-based machine learning startups for its first batch and women-led startups in Asia Pacific for its second batch.
The ride-hailing giant collaborates with Digitaraya, McKinsey & Co, UBS Bank, and Google Developers Launchpad to run the program.
This article first appeared in Tech in Asia.