Jakarta. Bezos Expeditions, a venture capital company, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has taken part in Indonesian business-to-business e-commerce marketplace startup Ula's $87 million series B funding, marking one of the world's richest man's foray into the country's startup scene.
The investment also exposed Bezos Expeditions to Indonesia's business-to-business e-commerce market, which was estimated to have a total market value of $150 billion.
Bezos Expedition was among several investors in Ula's latest funding round, led by Prosus Ventures, Tencent, and B-Capital. Other investors like Northstar Group, AC Ventures, and Citius were also involved in the funding round.
The company's previous investors, including Lightspeed India, Sequoia Capital India, Quona Capital, and Alter Global, also participated in this Series B funding.
Ula introduced a grocer marketplace to provide mom-and-pop stalls or small shops across Indonesia with technology, tools, and expertise comparable to modern convenience store chains. Since its launch last year, the company has worked with more than 70,000 stores across the archipelago.
"Ula's Series B funding, announced just eight months after its Series A funding in January, will be used to invest in Ula's growing presence across Indonesia, the addition of new categories, development of its buy-now-pay-later service, as well as the development of new technology, logistics infrastructure, and local supply chains," Riky Tenggara, Ula's co-founder and chief operating officer, said in a statement on Monday.
"Due to the limited access of shop owners to traditional banking services and their dependence on daily income, choosing between paying later payments to suppliers has tremendous benefits for them," Riky said.
Derry Sakti, Ula's co-founder and chief commercial officer, said the company has set a goal to help "shop owners speed up the process of recovering their business due to Covid-19."
He said Ula's features would remove shop owner's worries about purchasing goods, product availability, or even payment.
Adrian Li, the founder and managing partner of AC Ventures, said Ula could empower 63 million micro-, small- and medium-scale enterprises in Indonesia, making them more efficient in their operation and opening access to credit, critical for their expansion.