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KrASIA Weekly: Seeing the juicy competition between Indonesian startups

Written by Khamila Mulia Published on   3 mins read

The more, the merrier!

Hi there, it’s Khamila from Jakarta.

It is no secret that Indonesia is one of the most attractive online retailing markets in Southeast Asia. A recent report by market researcher Forrester Analytics suggested that the country accounts for 41% of all online-retail transaction in Southeast Asia. The value is projected to hit US$19 billion by 2023.

Fashion retail undoubtedly has huge potential as it considered the fastest growing sector for online sales, and the recent Zilingo’s huge investment is the latest testament to the trend. Zilingo’s US$226 million series D round is one of Southeast Asia’s largest funding rounds for an e-commerce startup and the company is approaching the unicorn status with a current US$970 million. Zilingo entered Indonesia in early 2017 and has been growing strongly ever since. The fashion e-commerce will use the fresh investment to strengthen expansion in its key markets including Indonesia, the Philippines, and Australia.

Besides clothing and footwear, car marketplace also seems to grow positively in Indonesia.

Since the middle class here keeps ballooning over the past years, the needs for four-wheeled vehicles are also increasing, which led to the emergence of many car marketplace platforms. Earlier this week, BeliMobilGue (translates to Buy My Car), the Indonesian entity of used cars sales platform Frontier Car Group (FCG), reportedly secured US$10 million funding round from its parent company FCG and other investors, including Intudo Ventures.

Before BeliMobilGue, Car sales platform Carmudi Indonesia also locked up the same amount of investment last year to strengthen its presence in Indonesia. It seems like we’ll see more competition in the sector this year.

On another note, in addition to supporting BeliMobilGue, Intudo Ventures this week also announced the good news of the close of its second fund at US$50 million. The firm will dedicate the investment to lifestyle-oriented companies, including co-working space CoHive and hotel chain ARTOTEL. The venture believes that Indonesian consumer consumption is growing steadily and therefore promises a bright future in the lifestyle business.

Additionally, the ‘super app’ Grab also starts providing entertainment service for its users by integrating video feature in collaboration with video streaming platform Hooq, that went live in Indonesia on February 13th. Through Grab, Indonesian users now have access to Hooq’s film library without having to sign up separately. This way, users are expected to spend more time on Grab app to enjoy its entertainment product.

The development of innovations from tech startups and unicorns in Indonesia is always interesting to watch. As the competition is getting more intense, customers now have more choices in enjoying the services needed.

Grab’s latest video feature seems to further intensify competition with its archrival, Go-Jek, as the Indonesian ride-hailing giant also had announced similar plans a while back but has yet to deliver. Go-Jek has teamed up with local media Kumparan to provide contents on its app and was reportedly investing in Narasi TV, probably for the same purpose. It seems like just a matter of time for us to see how Go-Jek will catch up with Grab in delivering entertaining content options for users. The more, the merrier indeed!

Stories you shouldn’t miss this week:


China relaxes strict public listing rules, intensifies competition with Nasdaq and Hong Kong

China’s new centralized clearinghouse handled 4.55 billion online transactions during spring festival

suning.com, one of China’s largest online retailers, buys 37 department stores to merge online and offline retail

How will China’s internet economy develop further? (Part one)

Luckin Coffee trickles into more cities in China


Southeast Asia

Hong Kong-based Oriente launches lending platform in Indonesia in collaboration with Sinar Mas

Go-Jek Singapore appoints new GM

After ‘strategic shift’ and downsizing, UCWeb Indonesia axed half of its content operation team Lazada Malaysia makes former Taobao executive Leo Chow its new CEO

Thai financial analysis startup Jitta eyes international expansion after raising $6.5m

Singapore to launch Asia’s first legal tech startup accelerator

Grab merges GrabFood into its main app in Singapore


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