“Following the success of the first Technology and Innovation Fund, we are looking to invest across the Southeast Asia region in verticals where we can add strategic value—addressing bottlenecks or pain points. For example, Indonesia’s fragmented geography poses ongoing challenges to e-commerce and logistics, providing an opportunity for tech startups to solve and disrupt how products can now reach new customer bases in the most efficient manner,” said Daren Tan, Managing Partner, Golden Equator Capital.
According to Lingga Madu, CEO, Sale Stock, the funding will be used to further strengthen Sale Stock’s position as the market leader in Indonesia and accelerate reaching profitability in the near term.
Sale Stock provides imported, local and in-house fashion labels for women. The company’s proprietary merchandising technology is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and leverages over 1,300 data points captured during the consumer purchasing process to make inventory decisions. On the front end its AI chatbot is integrated with social messaging channels such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and BlackBerry Messenger to handle customer enquiries, take sales orders, and complete purchases.
“We see the value Sale Stock brings to Indonesia’s ecommerce space – its tech-driven platform successfully reaches Indonesia’s fast growing and relatively untapped middle-class markets in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. 70% of Sale Stock’s customers in these cities are making their first ecommerce transactions, demonstrating the company’s unique advantage and potential for growth in Indonesia’s fast evolving digital economy,” Daren added.
Simultaneously, Tokopedia, another e-commerce platform in Indonesia, has secured $1.1 billion, from Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba. The investment marks Alibaba’s latest strategic expansion in Southeast Asia. Prior to this, Alibaba invested in Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada and increased its shareholding in the company to 83% in June 2017.
According to Zhang Yong, Chief Executive Officer, Alibaba Group, Tokopedia and Alibaba together aim to help small enterprises achieve successes. They are looking forward to work closely with Tokopedia to serve customers in Indonesia.
Indonesia’s e-commerce is driven by the growth of the middle class and of tier 2 and 3 cities where access to retail is limited. According to a study by Google and Temasek, Southeast Asia’s e-commerce market is projected to reach $88 billion by 2025, with Indonesia comprising 52% of the total market.