Indonesian live auction platform WowBid raised USD 5 million (IDR 70 billion) in a Pre-Series A funding round led by local investment firm Envy, local media reported.
WowBid was officially launched for the Android operating system in December 2018 and it plans to release its iOS version this month, according to the report.
The startup claims to be the first to offer live streaming auctions in Indonesia. The concept allows shoppers to bid for various e-commerce products such as smartphones, shoes, and cosmetics, and potentially buy them at a price that is lower than the current market rate.
There are two auction methods on the platform; Live Streaming Auction Video in which professional hosts action off goods, and Online Auctions that are more similar to Ebay. Users can take part in the auctions by purchasing e-coins on the WowBid app. The app hopes to grow into a marketplace platform where anyone can sell their products through live auction videos.
The opportunity for WowBid is big in Indonesia, according to CEO Rafli Ridwan as quoted by Sindonews, as local shoppers always tend to look for the lowest possible price when they shop online.
While most e-commerce platforms offer seasonal promos or flash sale to entice customers, WowBid promises to offer products at cheaper prices every day. It didn’t state how it gets deals with brands to offer items at low cost.
Ridwan has a background in the telcoms industry and is an investor in several online businesses.
According to him, WowBid will use the investment to improve services and innovations. On the long run, it plans to expand into neighboring countries with similar consumer behavior, including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Myanmar.