Prospark Founders & AC Ventures

SG corporate edtech startup ProSpark secures seed funding for expansion

- 35129a13423281eb4ed141eef39296ff - SG corporate edtech startup ProSpark secures seed funding for expansion

Prospark Founders & AC Ventures

Original Post by AsiaTechDaily

Singapore-based education technology (edtech) startup ProSpark announced raising an undisclosed sum in seed funding that it will use to expand its commercial footprint.

ProSpark, which started in Singapore and now has offices in Indonesia and the Philippines, said the funding round was led by Indonesian venture capital firm AC Ventures.

500 Startups, Azure Ventures, Prasetia Dwidharma, Assembly Ventures (USA), and prominent angel investors also participated in the funding round.

ProSpark said it plans to use the funds to continue expanding its commercial footprint, boost its technology infrastructure, and solidify its position in the market.

“The company is also working on plans for regional expansion across Southeast Asia. Right now, it is in Indonesia and has expanded to the Philippines,” the company said in a statement.

Founded in mid-2018, ProSpark offers a B2B learning management system that fosters capability building in organizations by bringing together a distributed content marketplace.

The platform trains, upskills, and reskills the workforce as the corporate education sector is evolving and more flexible and robust solutions are growing in demand.

ProSpark founder and CEO Alfa Bumhira said companies have been trying to find the best learning approach due to the pandemic.

“Now that e-learning is growing, offline learning has become relatively more costly, inefficient, and less scalable. Their existing solutions are not flexible and expensive to maintain,” he added.

ProSpark comes with a solution that is personalized and measurable: a learning that is adaptive with perceptible outcomes, Bumhira stressed.

“The funding should help us expand the end-to-end user experience by
providing expanded content solutions, better competencies’ gaps mapping capabilities, and strengthen our focus on user learning outcomes,” he said.

Among ProSpark’s customers are GoJek, Bank Sampoerna, Kopi Kenangan, Northern Star Energy, PasarPolis, RD Pawnshop, and many others.

Commenting on the investment, AC Ventures general partner Pandu Sjahrir said ProSpark is helping to bring a new wave of users into the formal economy by helping them learn new tools and skills of becoming effective in their day to day business operations


Bibit raises another growth round led by Sequoia Capital India, this time for $65M

- Bibit - Bibit raises another growth round led by Sequoia Capital India, this time for $65M


Original Post by TechCrunch

Four months after leading a $30 million growth round in Bibit, Sequoia Capital India has doubled down on its investment in the Indonesian robo-advisor app. Bibit announced today that the firm led a new $65 million growth round that also included participation from Prosus Ventures, Tencent, Harvard Management Company and returning investors AC Ventures and East Ventures.

This brings Bibit’s total funding to $110 million, including a Series A announced in May 2019. Its latest round will be used on developing and launching new products, hiring and increasing Bibit’s financial education services.

Bibit was launched in 2019 by Stockbit, a stock investing platform and community, and is part of a crop of Indonesian investment apps focused on new investors. Others include SoftBank Ventures-backed Ajaib, Bareksa, Pluang and FUNDtastic. Bibit runs robo-advisor services for mutual funds, investing users’ money based on their risk profiles, and claims that 90% of its users are millennials and first-time investors.

According to Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan), the number of retail investors grew 56% year-over-year in 2020. For mutual funds in particular, Bibit said investors grew 78% year-over-year to 3.2 million, based on data from the Indonesia Stock Exchange and Central Securities Custodian.

Despite the economic impact of COVID-19, interest in stock investing grew as people took advantage of market dips (the Jakara Composite Index fell in the first quarter of 2020, but is now recovering steadily). Apps like Bibit and its competitors want to make capital investing more accessible with lower fees and minimum investment amounts than traditional brokerages like Mandiri Sekuritas, which also saw an increase in new retail investors and average transaction value last year.

But the percentage of retail investors in Indonesia is still very low, especially compared to markets like Singapore or Malaysia, presenting growth opportunities for investment services.

Apps like Bibit focus on content that helps make capital investing less intimidating to first-time investors. For example, Ajaib also presents its financial educational features as a selling point.

In press statement, Sequoia Capital India vice president Rohit Agarwal said, “Indonesian mutual fund customers have grown almost 10x in the past five years. Savings via mutual funds is the first step towards investing and Bibit has helped millions of consumers start their investing journey in a responsible manner. Sequoia Capital India is excited to double down on the partnership as the company brings the same customer focus to stock investing with Stockbit.”

A Zoom screenshot with CoLearn’s founding team: Marc Irawan, Abhay Saboo and Sandeep Devaram

Indonesian edtech CoLearn gets $10M Series A led by Alpha Wave Incubation and GSV Ventures

Original Post by Tech Crunch

- Zoom Photo All Founders - Indonesian edtech CoLearn gets $10M Series A led by Alpha Wave Incubation and GSV Ventures

A Zoom screenshot with CoLearn’s founding team: Marc Irawan, Abhay Saboo and Sandeep Devaram

Indonesian startup CoLearn started as a chain of physical tutoring centers and was in the process of shifting to a hybrid offline-online model when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The team sensed that remote learning would permanently change how students want to be tutored and decided to focus completely on its app, which launched in August 2020. CoLearn has since been downloaded more than 3.5 million times and has about one million active users, mostly students in grades 7 to 12.

The company announced today it has raised $10 million in Series A funding co-led by Alpha Wave Incubation and edtech-focused GSV Ventures. This marks the first time both have made an investment in Indonesia. The round also included participation from returning investors Sequoia Capital India’s Surge and AC Ventures.

One of the Jakarta-based company’s goals is to improve educational standards in Indonesia. The country’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment, a global ranking system created by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) rankings are in the bottom 10% for math, science and reading. CoLearn’s goal is to help move up Indonesia’s PISA ratings to the top 50% over the next five years.

CoLearn’s app offers more than 250,000 pre-recorded videos with homework help. The videos serve as a hook to convince students (or their parents) to sign up for CoLearn’s live online classes.

- App Screenshot - Indonesian edtech CoLearn gets $10M Series A led by Alpha Wave Incubation and GSV Ventures

CoLearn screenshots

The company’s co-founders are Abhay Saboo, Marc Irawan and BYJU product team alum Sandeep Devaram. Despite being the world’s fourth most populous country with 270 million people, Indonesia has not seen the same level of investment and innovation in its educational infrastructure as countries like China or India, Saboo told TechCrunch. “We’re trying to solve the problem of how do you change mindsets, how do you change motivation, how do you increase in confidence levels?”

CoLearn started its offline in business in 2018, before shifting to a hybrid model. Once the pandemic hit, the company decided to go fully online. Even after schools reopen, the team anticipates that most students will prefer the convenience of online afterschool learning because going to brick-and-mortar tutoring centers can eat up hours of their time each day, Saboo said.

CoLearn’s users ask about 5 million questions through the app each month. Its AI platform matches them with video tutorials, recorded by more than 400 tutors, that break down key concepts. Saboo said creating engaging videos instead of presenting solutions in a diagram is one of the ways CoLearn differentiates from competitors like SnapAsk, which raised $35 million last year to expand in Southeast Asia.

shipper series b announcement

Indonesian Logistic Startup Shipper Closes $63m Series B Round

indonesian logistic startup shipper closes $63m series b round - WhatsApp Image 2021 04 15 at 12 - Indonesian Logistic Startup Shipper Closes $63m Series B Round

Original post by DealstreetAsia

Indonesia-based digital logistics provider Shipper has snagged $63 million in its Series B round led by DST Global Partners and Sequoia Capital India.

Existing investors Prosus, Floodgate, Lightspeed, Insignia Ventures, AC Ventures, and Y Combinator also joined the round.

The Series B financing comes less than a year after Shipper secured its Series A financing in June 2020. Previously, DealstreetAsia had reported that the firm was in talks with investors for its Series B round, and would likely close in the first quarter of 2021.

Shipper’s co-founder and COO Budi Handoko said the company will invest in technology development and expand its networks in Indonesia. Handoko added the funding will also be used to add to the team.

Launched in 2017, Shipper provides fulfillment and delivery services through its digitally managed network of fulfillment centers, delivery partners, and retail points, to e-commerce businesses. 

Currently, Shipper has a presence in 30 cities and has 161 warehouses across Indonesia. Handoko said the firm will use the proceeds for the organic expansion of its operations.

The logistics industry has seen a surge in demand banking on e-commerce growth. Indonesia’s e-commerce GMV value is predicted to grow from $32 billion in 2020 to $83 billion in 2025, according to Google, Temasek, and Bain & Co in 2020.

Meanwhile, the logistics market revenue in Indonesia is valued at $240 billion in 2021, according to Although there are more than 2,500 companies in Indonesia, the logistics cost is the highest in the archipelago compared to other countries in the region.

In October 2020, Shipper acquired the warehousing solutions company TNKapital-backed Pakde and local delivery startup Porter.


KitaBeli bags US$10M in Go-Ventures-led Series A to take its group-buying app into smaller cities in Indonesia

indonesian social commerce platform kitabeli secures $l0m in series a funding - KitaBeli team photo scaled 1 768x768 - KitaBeli bags US$10M in Go-Ventures-led Series A to take its group-buying app into smaller cities in Indonesia

Original Post by e27

KitaBeli, a consumer-facing social commerce platform based in Indonesia, announced today it has closed its Series A funding at US$10 million, led by Go-Ventures with participation from existing investors AC Ventures and East Ventures.

This comes about seven months after the startup secured a seed round led by East Ventures.

“We launched KitaBeli in Jakarta in March 2020 and have expanded to Solo and Malang, both tier 2 cities in Indonesia where we’ve seen strong growth. We shall be using the funds from this round to expand operations deeper into Java, developing a secure and efficient logistics network,” he said Prateek Chaturvedi, CEO and co-founder, KitaBeli.

“On the product side, we shall focus on building a more interactive and user-friendly, mobile-first shopping experience for our customers,” he added.

KitaBeli offers a mobile app that enables users to buy daily essentials, ranging from fast-moving consumer goods, fresh produce, beauty, electronics and other household items. By sharing information with their friends and neighbours, users can unlock discounts and benefit from lower prices for daily essential items.

In addition to lower prices, users enjoy free shipping, one-day delivery, daily deals and 24×7 online support.

Unlike other social commerce models that utilise agents to sell in their communities, KitaBeli’s users place orders directly on its platform.

Since its launch, KitaBeli claims to have seen a “strong growth of over 80 per cent month on month”, with a low cost per install rate of US$0.10. Currently, its users spend an average of US$70 per month on the platform. This translates to a wallet share of 35 per cent in the product categories available on KitaBeli, it said.

KitaBeli has implemented a partner-based delivery network, where individuals within the community earn commissions for performing last-mile delivery of ordered items.

Over time, the platform aims to connect suppliers and farmers to tens of millions of consumers in tier 2-4 cities across Indonesia.

“At KitaBeli, we empower our delivery partners to fulfil more than 100 orders per day and earn a substantial amount that supplements their family’s income. Community fulfilment is critical in establishing an efficient logistics chain, as well as delivering low- cost/ high quality products. We focus on providing high frequency items, such as FMCG and fresh produce — items that home-makers use on a daily basis. We plan to expand into beauty, fashion and electronics to build out higher SKU coverage,” said Ivana Tjandra, co-founder and COO of KitaBeli.

“E-commerce penetration beyond the large metros has remained low, predominantly because of lack of trust, poor product availability, and high logistics costs. Kitabeli is well-positioned to address these challenges through the social nature of its product, accelerating online shopping for a new generation of users and bringing the benefits of e-commerce to a wider population across Indonesia,” said Aditya Kumar, SVP of Investments, Go-Ventures.

“Online shopping can be enhanced through a social experience that traditional e-commerce platforms have yet to incorporate. KitaBeli enables this by creating trust through product-sharing from friends and family, that in turn creates a virtuous cycle of virality. This model also drives cost effective growth in rural Indonesia through its scalable user acquisition strategy,” said Adrian Li, Managing Partner from AC Ventures.


Ex-Traveloka, Grab execs’ one-year-old online fresh grocery startup Segari raises seed funding led by Beenext

Ex-Traveloka, Grab execs’ one-year-old online fresh grocery startup Segari raises seed funding led by Beenext - Segari team - Ex-Traveloka, Grab execs’ one-year-old online fresh grocery startup Segari raises seed funding led by Beenext

Original Post by e27

In Indonesia, one of the major problems facing the agriculture industry is the existence of multiple layers between the farmer and the end consumer.

As a result, farmers fail to obtain the right price for their produce and are forced to sell them for a song, with the middlemen taking the bigger chunk.

Segari, a startup born in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, wants to address this problem using technology, and it has already caught the attention of the region’s top VCs.

The grocery startup has just announced that it has secured what claims to be one of the largest seed funding rounds in Indonesia. Led by Singapore’s early-stage VC firm Beenext, it also saw participation from AC Ventures, Saison Capital and a few undisclosed angel investors.

Segari will use the capital to build the infrastructure needed from upstream to downstream while maintaining the quality of the produce.

“Although 30 per cent of Indonesia’s workforce is engaged in agriculture in one way or the other, many inefficiencies still exist in the industry. The existence of multiple layers between the farmer and the end customers is one,” said Segari co-founder Yosua Setiawan.

“While commerce is being disrupted by Tokopedia and Shopee, and the transportation industry by gojek and Grab, the agriculture sector has seen very little innovation. Segari wants to change this,” he added.

The company was founded in 2020 by the trio of Setiawan (CEO), Farand Anugerah (COO) and Farandy Ramadhana (CTO). A silver medalist at the National Physics Olympics, Setiawan has previously worked at Boston Consulting Group and Traveloka.

Anugerah, a Harvard Business School alumnus, has in the past worked at Grab Indonesia & Philippines. Ramadhana is an alumnus of UC Berkeley and worked at Amazon, Google Ads team in Silicon Valley and Moka before co-founding Segari.

How Segari works

A consumer can place his orders on Segari’s website or mobile app before 5 pm. Segari’s team will then fulfil the orders with the farmers and suppliers, bring the items to the warehouse, check for the quality, and then package them. By 6 am the next day, the startup’s logistics team takes the items from the warehouse for delivery before 10 am.

The startup says it is working with thousands of farmers all around Java and several vegetable farmer communities in West Java. The company helps them make decisions about what to plant, how much and when to harvest.

It also has communities of fruit farmers in Central Java where it has contracted for specific grades of fruits at specific prices, which allows Segari to have consistent and sufficient supply.

“To give the best freshness, our operation team ensures that it only takes 15 hours from harvest to your home for green vegetables. This involves extreme operational complexity. Because we do not keep inventory, we need to generate tight forecasting of customer demand, and balance it with the harvesting schedule of our farmers,” said COO Anugerah.

The startup says it employs experienced teams for quality check and product handling. It boasts of four different temperature areas in its warehouse to maintain the freshness of the produce.

For example, it keeps bananas at 16-20 degree Celsius so that they can ripe optimally, while the grapes are kept at -5 degree Celsius.

Trust deficit

According to the startup, despite the COVID-19 crisis, Indonesian consumers today are still reluctant to shop fresh produce and grocery products online. Most individuals living in Jakarta still go to supermarkets and traditional markets to purchase grocery items.

Surveys find that consumers still do not fully trust transacting online for fresh produce, fearing that they may receive bad quality produce. Those who have attempted to shop fresh produce online share that the quality they receive is inconsistent.

“Getting to a high level of quality and consistency is hard. Not everyone can do it, but that’s why we make it our focus. While other players may focus on wide SKU variety, cheapest prices, or other areas, we build our infrastructure to focus on quality. This is what our customers love about us, and make many of them purchase from us every week,” said Setiawan.

Setiawan further shared that Segari leverages its micro-warehouses and network of thousands of agents all around Jakarta to help move tons of its fresh produce every day while maintaining its quality.

“Otherwise, you’ll end up with 15-30 per cent wastage, as seen in a typical supermarket. This is also partially the reason we can offer the highest quality produce at cheaper prices than most supermarkets,” said Anugerah.

Esb team

ESB, Indonesia’s answer to Toast, bags US$3M in Beenext-led Series A round

ESB, Indonesia's answer to Toast, bags US$3M in Beenext-led Series A round - Photo - ESB, Indonesia’s answer to Toast, bags US$3M in Beenext-led Series A round

Original Post by e27

Esensi Solusi Buana (ESB), an Indonesia-based restaurant management platform, has raised US$3 million in a Series A funding round led by Beenext.

AC Ventures, Skystar Capital and Selera Kapital also participated.

ESB plans to use the fresh money to introduce new features to its technology stack and expand its partnerships with restaurants. It aims to emulate the path of Toast, a similar company from the US that is currently valued at US$8 billion.

ESB noted the F&B industry in Indonesia accounts for over US$57 billion in annual revenue and will continue growing rapidly driven by increasing numbers of middle-class consumers. Despite this, the industry struggles with losses due to operational inefficiencies from manual inventory planning, disorganized waste management and fraud.

The startup was founded two years ago with the goal of solving that problem by building an end-to-end SaaS platform for F&B businesses. Its suite of solutions includes a cloud-based mobile ordering system that syncs up automatically with restaurants’ POS system, kitchen management system and enterprise resource pricing (ERP).

According to ESB, these technology stacks allow restaurants to reduce time to serve customers and eliminate errors in information entry.

The firm disclosed that it has experienced growth of 12x in the number of partners over the period of 2020 and seen less than five per cent churn from its user base. Notable clients include local F&B groups such as Boga Group, MAP Boga and Ismaya Group.

Also Read: What new digital solutions mean for Indonesia’s F&B sector

“We’ve had good feedback from our merchants and brands, and over 90 per cent of them continue to utilise our system as they’ve experienced the operational benefits ESB has to offer,” noted Eka Prasetya, COO of ESB.

ESB also helped F&B business during COVID-19 lockdown restrictions by launching solutions for restaurants to deliver independently and enable contactless dining. With this function, restaurants can serve delivery orders without having to incur the commission cost charged by delivery platforms, allowing them to increase their margins.

Within six months of launching, ESB claims to have generated over 20 million annual orders for its customers.

“ESB is empowering and enabling restaurants to focus on what they do best, serving their customers with great food, and letting ESB take care of the technology,” said Teruhide Sato, Founder and CEO of Beenext.

“ESB’s data-driven and hardware agnostic approach enable the platform to solve a pressing pain point for merchants today,” opined Adrian Li, Founder and Managing Partner of AC Ventures.


Eden Farm raises pre-Series A to connect farmers, communities with F&B biz in Indonesia

Eden Farm raises pre-Series A to connect farmers, communities with F&B biz in Indonesia - eden - Eden Farm raises pre-Series A to connect farmers, communities with F&B biz in Indonesia

Original Post by e27

Eden Farm, an Indonesian agritech startup focussing on the farming supply chain, has received an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A funding round, led by Australian VC firm Investible. AC Ventures, Corin Capital, and unnamed strategic angel investors also participated.

The fresh funds will be used to expand Eden Farm’s operations in the Java and Sumatra regions and offer increased stock-keeping units (SKU) selections for its merchant partners.

The company also seeks to develop technology to further automate its business processes and grow its farmers’ funding unit.

Indonesia is home to over 30 million farmers, with the agriculture sector contributing 14 per cent of its GDP — US$140 billion in market size. However, it is heavily fragmented with inefficient supply chains and significant margin leakages, limiting farmers’ income.

Founded in 2017, Eden Farm focuses on tackling the problem by connecting farmers and communities upstream with F&B businesses, including restaurants, street food vendors and central markets.

The Y Combinator alumnus aims to achieve this by bringing farmers’ produce directly to businesses. On the demand side, Eden Farm allows street vendors and restaurants to reduce costs, save time and increase income.

Besides, it supports farms by creating better access to quality inputs (such as seeds and fertilisers), as well as financing services to support their farming businesses.

Eden Farm claims it services over 25,000 merchants in 12 cities across Java. On the supply side, Eden Farm is supported by more than 1,500 individual farmers from the islands of Java and Sumatra. The company expects this number to grow exponentially in 2021, enabled by its stronger foothold and upstream sourcing capabilities.

“Eden Farm disaggregates the food supply chain by efficiently leveraging communal farming to provide just-in-time inventory to food wholesalers, resellers and hotels. The business has an incredible opportunity to decrease food prices and wastage across Indonesia,” said Daniel Veytsblit, Investment Director of Investible,

“Eden Farm has created strong defensibility through its upstream sourcing capability, demand aggregation and simplifying of the supply chain, enabling farmers to receive stable demand and buyers to purchase fresh produce at more affordable prices and better quality,” opined Adrian Li, Managing Partner of AC Ventures.


Raena bags US$9M Series A to expand beauty social commerce platform

Raena bags US$9M Series A to expand beauty social commerce platform - Raena 1 - Raena bags US$9M Series A to expand beauty social commerce platform

Original Post bye27

Raena, a Singapore-based social commerce startup focusing on beauty products, announced today it has raised US$9 million in a Series A funding round co-led by Alpha Wave Incubation and Alpha JWC Ventures.

AC Ventures joined returning investors Beenext, Beenos and Strive in the investment round. This round of funding comes after the company raised a US$1.82 million seed round in July 2019.

The fresh financing will go towards expanding the startup’s team from 15 employees to over 100 within the next three months.

Founded in 2018, Raena procures beauty products directly from brands and local manufacturers before selling them to micro-entrepreneurs on its platform.

“We realized that the problem was twofold: Brands are keen to enter emerging markets such as Indonesia but there are limited distribution partners. On the other hand, platforms such as Shopee, Instagram, and WhatsApp have made it easy to sell to end-consumers, the backend supply chain has not kept up with the needs of these micro-entrepreneurs,” said Guo Xing Lim, Co-founder and COO of Raena.

Raena noted its monthly revenue has grown by over 50 times in 2020 and has continued to experience double-digit monthly growth. It also said that it up to 1,500 micro-entrepreneurs in Indonesia and Malaysia to whom it distributes products from the more than 50 brands on its platform.

“Raena is tapping into a large market that keeps expanding as the middle class grows in Indonesia as well as in Southeast Asia. With the founding team’s expertise and our support, we believe that Raena can grow to become the dominant player in the regional beauty space,” said Chandra Tjan, Co-founder and General Partner at Alpha JWC Ventures.

The announcement comes a few days after social commerce startup RateS announced it closed an undisclosed amount in a Series A round co-led by Vertex Ventures and Genesis Alternative Ventures, with funds going towards fuelling its expansion into tier 2 and 3 cities in Indonesia.

In Southeast Asia, some of the most notable companies in the beauty products segment included Social Bella which had recently made an entry into Vietnam.


Indonesia’s BukuWarung raises funding from, others

Indonesia’s BukuWarung raises funding from, others - BukuWarung 6 300x300 - Indonesia’s BukuWarung raises funding from, others

Original Post by Deal Street Asia

Indonesian startup BukuWarung, an accounting app for micro-enterprises, has raised funding from, and early backers of global fintech players Adyen, Nubank, Revolut, and an Indonesian retail giant., a Silicon Valley-based global investor, is also a backer in Khatabook, an Indian market leader in the digital bookkeeping space.

The financial terms of the round remain undisclosed.

A source familiar with the matter told DealStreetAsia that the startup has raised around $20 million in total funding so far.

In September last year, BukuWarung had raised an undisclosed amount from a host of investors after graduating from Y-Combinator.

The latest funding will enable the firm to expand its technology and product team in Indonesia, India, and Singapore.

“We launched a digital payments solution for our merchants, which has seen strong adoption and is already processing over $500 million in payment volumes. Our focus this year is to enhance our payment offerings and enable more digital payment use cases for our merchants,” BukuWarung co-founder Chinmay Chauhan said in a statement.

BukuWarung was founded in 2019 by Chinmay Chauhan and Abhinay Peddisetty, who previously worked at Carousell together.

To date, more than 3.5 million merchants have joined BukuWarung from tier 2 and 3 locations.

The startup claims that its technology helps the merchants to improve the bookkeeping process by tracking transactions including credit, expense, sales, and cash flow visibility through business reports.

The startup recently partnered WarungPintar and others to create an ecosystem to serve MSME needs.

BukuWarung is backed by Y-Combinator, Quona Capital, East Ventures, AC Ventures, DST Global Partners, Golden Gate Ventures, and Tanglin Venture Partners. Its angel investors include Michael Sampoerna, Plaid co-founder William Hockey, Snapdeal founders as well as strategic angels from Grab, Gojek, Stripe, Modalku, Xendit, Airbnb, Carousell, and Rapyd.