E-Commerce: Jeff Bezos makes his first funding in Southeast Asia

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In Southeast Asia, e-commerce grew by 63%, reaching 52 billion euros in 2020, according to a report by Google, Temasek Holdings and Bain & Co. Using this context, Ula, the Indonesian market for wholesalers and small businesses, is raising $ 87 million in Serie B, especially from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The richest man on the planet is making his first investment in Southeast Asia here.

The operation was led by Prosus Ventures, Tencent and B-Capital, with the participation of Bezos Expeditions, Northstar Group, AC Ventures and Citius. Ula has already had the support of Sequoia Capital India and Lightspeed India in previous rounds. The Jakarta-based startup raised $ 10.5 million in June 2020 and $ 20 million in Serie A last January. This operation allows the founder of Amazon to invest in a market where his presence is still very limited.

“Solving the problems of traditional traders by investing in technology”

Launched in January 2020 by Nipun Mehra (former Flipcard CEO), Alan Wong (former Amazon), Derry Sakti and Riky Tenggar (former Lazada and aCommerce), Ula is developing an app for traders that allows them to manage their inventory and acquire trades capital. Indonesian startups are mainly focused on small structures that procure their stock from wholesalers and distributors to save financially but do not need large quantities of products. Wholesalers can thus sell their products online through the app.

Ula is also developing tools that enable wholesalers and retailers to optimize the management and profitability of their business. The startup serves more than 70,000 stores on its platform and offers more than 6,000 products. ” We launched in 2020, with one mission: to give small retailers in the neighborhood the technological means to increase their revenue. ” comments Nipun Mehra, co-founder and CEO of Ula. “ We take a long-term approach to solving the fundamental problems of traditional retailers by investing in technology, the supply chain and the delivery of data-based credit. ”

“Buy now, pay later”

The start-up aims to expand to the largest cities in the region, build a local supply chain and focus on developing a Buy Now, Pay Later offer (BNPL). The global market for deferred payment or “Buy now, pay later” (BNPL) is growing strongly since the pandemic. Earlier this week, Indian startup Capital Float, with the support of Amazon, raised $ 50 million. Last month, US payment giant PayPal bought Japanese unicorn, Paidy, for $ 2.7 billion.

Driven by the rise of e-commerce, this new payment option is attracting investors. Among the key players in the market we can mention Sweden Klarna who made mega-collection of $ 639 million from SoftBank, reaching an estimate of $ 45.6 billion. In the United States, startup affiliate Nasdaq recently bought Canadian company Paybright for $ 264 million, while square, FinTech of Jack Dorsey, got into the hands of Australian Afterpay for no less than $ 29 billion.

We bring you fundraising news in partnership with Junto

Ula: key data

Founders: Riky Tenggara, Derry Sakti, Alan Wong, Nipun Mehra
Creation: 2020
headquarters: Jakarta
Sector: retail
Activity: an application for retailers that allows them to manage their inventory and obtain working capital

financing: $ 87 million in Serie B from Prosus Ventures, Tencent and B-Capital, with the participation of Bezos Expeditions, Northstar Group, AC Ventures and Citius.

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