Indonesian hawker tech start-up raises $5.5m

Kedai Sayur, an Indonesian start-up that empowers vegetable hawkers by using technology, has closed a US$4 million (S$5.5 million) round of funding led by venture capital firm East Ventures.

Other participating investors in Indonesia include SMDV, Triputra Group and Multi Persada.

The fresh funds will help accelerate the onboarding of vegetable hawkers and retailers as Kedai Sayur's partners (who are also known as Mitra Sayur) further extend its networks of suppliers and develop its technology, the company said in a press statement yesterday.

Kedai Sayur, which translates to "vegetable kiosk", was established with the mission of bringing the benefits of the digital economy to Indonesia's vegetable hawkers.

According to the firm, most hawkers in Indonesia are still struggling to source competitive fresh produce due to the long supply chain that raises costs by two to three times and affects the freshness of food.

Essentially, the start-up cuts out middleman vendors and works with farmers and hawker partners directly for the sourcing and distribution of vegetables. The process helps increase the profit margins and quality of products for hawkers, who are typically in the last mile of the supply chain.

Hawker partners can access Kedai Sayur's products through its app and pick them up from the nearest drop-off points. Grocers who join the start-up's platform can register as these drop-off points.

The start-up also provides partners with delivery vehicles to help them reach door-to-door customers more efficiently, as well as offering a financing programme for partners who have limited capital to purchase the vehicles.

The nine-month-old start-up says it has provided more than 300 products in its distribution centre to date and these are accessible to its partners who join the company through its mobile app.

Mr Adrian Hernanto, co-founder and chief executive of Kedai Sayur, said: "From day one, we have been aiming to create a tangible impact for all the fresh produce hawkers, and allow them to enjoy a higher quality of life.

"We are delighted to witness the constantly increasing purchase value experienced by all of our Mitra Sayur and how most of them can even double the amount within the first six months."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2019, with the headline 'Indonesian hawker tech start-up raises $5.5m'. Print Edition | Subscribe