Indonesia Smart Kiosk Startup Warung Pintar secures US$4 million from Line, Vertex

Warung Pintar
Warung Pintar

Warung Pintar

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.

Singapore’s HR Startup Pulsifi raises US$1.1 million to Strengthen AI Tech

Pulsifi

Pulsifi

6/8/2018 – Pulsifi, an HR and AI technology startup based in Singapore has secured a total of US$1.1 million in funding from three angel investors as it aims to enhance its predictive people analytics platform.

The three angel investors consist of Chi Sieng Tiong, former vice president, regional operating officer, APAC at Kelly Services, Chieh Suang Khor, principal at Cento Ventures, and Lon Wong, the founder of ProximaX and former president of NEM.io Foundation.

Founded in 2016 by the former head of strategy at CtrlShift Jay Huang, Pulsifi provides an online HR platform combining organizational psychology and artificial intelligence that aids companies to hire, retain, and develop talent.

The platform incorporates and considers multiple aspects including competencies, experience, interests, personality, as well as values shown by staff which are feed into the AI to predict their behaviors, attitudes and performance at work.

Besides, the people analytics platform is also capable of answering if current or potential employees are a fit to designated role, team, and culture by automatically generating their holistic profiles based on social media and psychometric assessments.

This enables businesses and HR teams of organizations to make better-informed, data driven decisions when it comes to hiring, teaming and development.

“People are the heart of every organisation,” said Chi Sieng Tiong, an angel investor in the round. “The ability to understand people makes Pulsifi invaluable to every organisation and every working person out there.”

Moreover, employees and candidates can similarly benefit from the science-backed data and insights on themselves which can be used to identify potential areas of improvement and growth to reach their full potential.

“One key benefit of the Pulsifi platform is the ability for organizations to make decisive HR decisions at scale,” said Chieh. “Without Pulsifi, making decisions on tens, hundreds or thousands of people has typically been done based on gut feel rather than data or science,”

“Pulsifi is changing how that works, and I personally appreciate how they are developing their AI not just as a deep tech, but for solving a big real-world problem,” he added

This funding had arrived at the right time in the industry as innovation in HR technology has grown to hit its inflection point. According to a recent IBM study, 66 percent of CEOs and 50 percent of HR executives believe that AI will transform the HR industry.

With the newly-raised capital, Pulsifi will strengthen its use cases across the talent lifecycle from hiring to retention to development and enhance its AI-powered SaaS HR platform.

At present, Pulsifi’s platform is used by multinational corporations (MNCs) such as Nestle and Deutsche Telekom T-Systems.