8/8/2018 – Indonesia-based retail tech startup Warung Pintar said yesterday that it has raised US$4 million in fresh funding from Pavillion Capital, Vertex Ventures, and Line Ventures.
This comes after an earlier seed funding of the same amount six months ago in February which Warung Pintar has used to set up more than 300 kiosks across the Greater Jakarta region.
“SMEs have always been a major contributor to the economy in Southeast Asia, accounting for over 90% of all business establishments. Most SMEs still do business the traditional way,” said Vertex Ventures managing partner Joo Hock Chua.
‘Vertex Ventures is happy to be part of Warung Pintar to help upgrade SMEs in Indonesia and enable them to participate in the digital economy to earn more income and improve their living standard,” he added.
This investment will be placed into accelerating Warung Pintar’s mission to improve the quality of warung (Indonesian for traditional kiosks) in Jakarta and encourage tech inclusion for micro-enterprises.
“We are aiming to have a couple hundred more warungs by the end of 2018,” said Distra Mirta, the Business Development Lead of Warung Pintar, adding that they plan to expand outside the Greater Jakarta Area as early as next year.
Warung Pintar (which translates to Smart Kiosk) is a prefabricated, tech-integrated kiosk for Indonesian SMEs and kiosk. It features a surveillance camera, an LCD TV, dispensers and stoves, a refrigerator, a digital system and a charging station.
Since its inception, Warung Pintar claims that its kiosk base has grown by 3,477 percent with an average monthly growth of 187 percent.
This growth is contributed by the introduction of digital financing, facilitated by several programs and collaborations, including their recent partnership with Go-Jek’s payment arm Go-Pay which offers customers a cashless payment facility at kiosks.
According to Warung Pintar Chief Technology Officer Sofian Hadiwijaya, the technology has been proven to increase the operational efficiency of kiosks, which then increases their sales and income.
In fact, data shows that the average kiosk owner’s monthly income has shown an increase by 89.5 percent after joining Warung Pintar and can reach up to 4.17 million rupiah (about US$287.72), that is 15 percent higher than the Jabodetabek area’s minimum wage.
“We keep innovating and listening to what our customers and kiosk partners need so that the technology is accessible and easily used by all communities,” said Mirta.
“We’re trying to solve hyper-local problems that these warungs have on a daily basis with tech and global knowledge of the product. Therefore we’re building a team of engineers with strong technical understanding and a big heart for Indonesian grassroots,” he added.
Currently, the startup has 319 kiosks across Jabodetabek which are operated by 500 micro entrepreneurs. It also has more than 12,000 registered potential partners waiting to join Warung Pintar.
This news is published on Reuters.