Indonesian community-based e-commerce platform Chilibeli, which connects farmers and manufacturers to online shoppers, has raised a USD 10 million Series A investment led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Other investors who were involved in the funding round include Golden Gate Ventures, Sequoia’s Surge program, Kinesys Group, and Alto Partners.
The company was founded in July 2019 by Alex Feng, Damon Yue, and Matt Li.
Users of Chilibeli who promote products for group purchases can earn passive proceeds, giving them a chance to bolster their household income. The company claims that its revenue has seen 150% month-on-month growth since its inception, and that it has created more than 300 direct jobs for farmers and suppliers, as well as thousands of indirect jobs in Indonesia.
Chilibeli will use its fresh funds to feed the growth of its network of users, particularly in Greater Jakarta. The company will also improve its application’s UI and UX functionality, and make improvements to its warehouse in Depok.
“These rounds of funding have officially made Chilibeli a Series A company merely seven months after it was established—one of the fastest growing startups in Southeast Asia. The company will continue to listen to feedback, innovate, and add user-friendly features to enhance the overall experiences,” Alex Feng, CEO of Chilibeli, said in a press release.
Akshay Bhushan, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, said that the Chilibeli team is empowering local communities across the emerging middle class in Indonesia, giving them access to affordable products while supporting livelihoods for various stakeholders in the Chilibeli ecosystem, covering farmers, housewives, and small businesses.
“Our conviction in leading the Series A for Chilibeli comes from having invested and helped scale several multi-billion dollar-valued social and commerce platforms globally in China, India, and the US, such as Pinduoduo, Udaan, Snapchat, and Sharechat,” Bhushan said.
Yansen Kamto, founding partner at Kinesys Group, added that Chilibeli’s intelligent commerce concept is in line with the group’s mission to invest in human intelligence that improves social welfare and well-being.
“We believe in critical thinking, social pursuit, and a holistic approach that further manifest as the benchmark for smart and agile solutions. We are excited to be part of Chilibeli’s historic rise, and we are a firm believer of its prowess in conquering the vast social commerce landscape in the country,” Kamto said.
Despite ripe conditions for social commerce—a robust e-commerce sector, the ubiquity of digital payments, and logistical advancements—this form of online shopping has yet to take off in Indonesia.
“As 20% of Indonesian households’ expenditure is spent on groceries, there is a huge gap between potentials, and this presents an untapped market potential that is meant to thrive,” Feng said.