Plugo, a Singapore-based firm, has acquired $9 million in Series A investment. The firm provides a full range of e-commerce support services for direct-to-consumer (D2C) companies, from creating a website and establishing a payment system to managing marketing and shipping, warehousing, and logistics. In other words, Plugo allows direct-to-consumer retailers to concentrate on their goods while supporting other operations.
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More About The Investment
Altos Ventures led the Series A investment, with BonAngels Venture Partners, Access Ventures, Mahanusa Capital, Prodigy Investment, and Pearl Abyss Capital also participating. When requested, the corporation did not divulge its value.
The business intends to utilize the funds to expand its R&D department and recruit more engineers. KyungMin Bang, co-founder, and chief executive officer of Plugo, said that the company presently employs around 30 individuals.
Five founding members established Plugo two months ago under the leadership of Bang. In Indonesia, over 200 D2C brands have already begun utilizing Plugo's beta service. In the initial quarter of the following year, the Singapore-based firm with operations in Indonesia and South Korea plans to formally debut its service in Indonesia.
Bang told TechCrunch that the business intends to concentrate on the Indonesian market, one of the biggest in Southeast Asia, for the next 12 months before expanding to Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. Bang said it has collaborated with various logistics providers, including Indonesia-based JNE Express, SiCepat, and J&T, as well as a payment processor, Nicepay Indonesia.
The Involvement of Bang
Bang, a serial entrepreneur, was motivated to provide an end-to-end management solution for D2C brands and merchants in Indonesia to set up online storefronts after recognizing that Indonesia's D2C business accounts for less than 1% of the country's total e-commerce is young but developing rapidly.
Bang said that Indonesia's direct-to-consumer (D2C) sector has substantial growth potential, given the country's fourth-largest population, expanding youthful population in the future, and high penetration of smartphone users.
"Because of innovation in the e-commerce ecosystem and dynamic changes in customer behavior, local firms in Indonesia have expedited their embrace of digital technology," Bang added. Bang said that in Indonesia, business-to-consumer (B2C) platforms, which have dominated the e-commerce sector for the last decade, have given way to direct-to-consumer (D2C) platforms.
The business intends to compete with e-commerce giants such as Shopify in Southeast Asia. "We have significant potential since there is still a great deal of opportunity for development and vast holes [in the D2C market] that e-commerce titans like Shopify have not yet been able to fill [in Southeast Asia]. "For instance, we can enable small merchants in the area, such as MSMEs, to sell online by providing them personalized services," Bang said.
Charles Rim, founder and general partner at Access Ventures, said, "We think the time is excellent for the creation of Plugo as the e-commerce sector is undergoing volatility that will foster good change, benefitting both aspirational merchants and consumers."
Bang has already sold two startups: the Indonesian e-commerce enabler TokoTalk operator CodeBrick, which Singapore's e-commerce Sea reportedly acquired in 2021, and the Korean PC online game J2MSoft (J2M), which Electronic Arts purchased in 2008. (According to a report by Tech in Aisa, Sea discontinued the TokoTalk service in October as a cost-cutting measure in response to greater economic uncertainties.)
"Plugo's purpose coincides with our aim of producing substantial economic value while positively impacting society," stated Moon-Suk Oh, partner at Altos Ventures. "Plugo's digital skills will revolutionize the future of e-commerce in Indonesia."
Featured image: Plugo
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