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Indonesian furniture retail startup Fabelio raises USD 9 million in Series C round

Fabelio targets to raise a total of USD 15 million of fresh capital by the end of 2020.

Fabelio co-founders Christian Sutardi (left) and Marshall Utoyo (right). Photo courtesy of Fabelio.

Indonesia-based furniture retailer Fabelio on Wednesday announced that it raised USD 9 million as part of its Series C round. Taiwanese venture firm AppWorks, Endeavour Catalyst, and Telkom-backed MDI Ventures led this first session of the round. Existing investor Aavishkaar Capital also contributed to the funding.

The round was advised by Silk Bridge Partners, the investment holding company founded by former Lazard Southeast Asia head Harish Parameswar. AppWorks’ partner Jessica Liu will be joining Fabelio’s board of directors.

The firm plans to use the fresh capital for the expansion of its supply chain network into new regions in Indonesia.

“Our main focus will be to improve our product categories and improve delivery times,” said CEO and co-founder Marshall Tegar Utoyo. “On top of that, we will expand our sphere of influence across Indonesia by opening new warehouses and experience centers.”

Fabelio was founded in 2015 by Utoyo, serial entrepreneurs Christian Sutardi, and Krishnan Menon who left to start his own company in 2019. The retailer offers local and imported furniture to the Indonesian market and currently has 20 showrooms across Jakarta and Bandung. It also provides a B2B interior design consultation service for office spaces, hotels, and restaurants, which now has surpassed 1,000 projects.

Fabelio’s showroom. Picture courtesy of Fabelio.

During the pandemic, Fabelio saw its highest online sales ever. Utoyo said it even surpassed the numbers from Indonesia’s annual online sales event Harbolnas or “12.12”.

“The future of e-commerce is brighter than ever, and the simultaneous ramp-up in payments and infrastructure will support this growth trajectory. Online sales almost doubled compared to pre-pandemic sales,” Utoyo told KrASIA.

Embracing the “new normal”

Fabelio is ramping up its online services. A significant portion of the funding will be allocated to technology—the firm is scaling up its engineering team to assure a smooth customer experience on the web. It has deployed a virtual assistant, emulating the “touch and feel” of the products.

“Contribution via this channel increased almost 23-fold at the peak of the pandemic and 11-fold during the new normal,” he added.

Reduction of delivery times will be next. Utoyo said that one in five customer orders arrives in less than a day. Last year, less than 4% of the orders were delivered within 24 hours.

They are also working on new offline stores, planning to add 10 showrooms by the end of 2020. “We will expand our coverage area by opening new warehouses and experience centers which requires additional investment in marketing for customer acquisition,” he said.

Towards a larger market share

After five years of operations, he believes that it is time to double down on growth and to expand its market.

“We see this as a massive upside potential for us to grow,” said Utoyo. The company is on track to reach profitability by 2022.

The series C round is targeted to accelerate that growth and Fabelio aims to bag USD 15 million by the end of the year. The company is actively seeking investors in Southeast Asia and China.

“Our combined efforts will further allow us to win a larger market share in this exciting USD 6,5 billion home furniture market in Indonesia,” said Utoyo. “In two years, we will be serving all major cities on all islands in Indonesia.”