Indonesian Social Ecommerce Startup Chilibeli Raises US$10M Series A
By Sharon Lewis
Chilibeli, a community based social ecommerce platform headquartered in Jakarta, raised US$10 million funding in a round led by American venture capital firm Lightspeed Ventures this week, according to a statement by the company. The round also saw participation from Golden Gate Ventures, Sequoia Surge, Kinesys Group, and Alto Partners, the statement added.
“The funds are being used to strengthen Jakarta, Tangerang Selatan, and Depok’s networks of communities, while also expanding our reach to Bogor and Bekasi. On top of that, we continue to improve the UI and UX of our application, as well as advancing the facility of our Depok’s warehouse”, said Alex Feng, Co-Founder and CEO at Chilibeli.
The Series A funding comes in after just seven months of establishing Chilibeli, making it one of the fastest growing Southeast Asian startups, he added. Since its founding in 2019, the startup boasts 150% month-on-month growth, over 300 direct jobs created, and thousands of indirect partner jobs created, the company statement noted.
Justin Hall, Partner at Golden Gate Ventures, said, “In many ways, the Chilibeli team is tapping on something that other platforms to date haven’t been able to successfully leverage: the trusted social circle. By building a technology platform that taps into everyday Indonesian’s network, they’re unlocking new, innovative ways to shop, collaborate, and even earn a living.”
For users, Chilibeli works like any other online grocery store–customers place an order on the Chilibeli app, which the startup then fulfills through its own distribution network. What Chilibeli does differently is facilitating micro-entrepreneurship amongst community members through its program Mitra Chilibeli, or Chilibeli for Partners.
Akshay Bhushan, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, noted, “The power of the Chilibeli social commerce platform comes from empowering local communities across the emerging middle class in Indonesia through access to affordable & value products while driving livelihoods for various stakeholders in the Chilibeli ecosystem such as farmers, housewives and small businesses in these communities.”
Chilibeli partners, many of whom are housewives, can earn commissions by managing the shopping of other community members, according to the company statement. It elaborated that Indonesian housewives, being in charge of household expenditure, are looking to tap into an extra source of income, and that is where Chilibeli saw opportunity.
“Chilibeli’s intelligent commerce concept is in line with our mission to invest in human intelligence, which leads to the betterment and improvement of welfare and well-being,” said Yansen Kamto, Founding Partner at Kinesys Group.