Indonesia, one of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant and upcoming e-commerce markets, welcomes a new entrant today after Bizzy, a B2B-focused marketplace, officially opened its service in the country.
Backed by $2.5 million from regional VC firm Ardent Capital, Bizzy aims to be a success in a challenging space that eluded Rocket Internet and has largely gone untapped by startups in Southeast Asia.
Rocket Internet, which includes a $3.45 billion rate fashioned-focused commerce arm among its portfolio of companies, was unable to crack B2B in Southeast Asia. Its OfficeFab venture, which provided office supplies, closed down in 2013 after failing to hit its marker. Even OfficeYes, Rocket Internet’s related venture in India — which absorbed talent and resources from OfficeFab following its shuttering — is in the dead pool.
So what is Bizzy doing differently to have a shot at success?
For one thing, it is aiming to be broader than just office supplies, Bizzy CEO and co-founder Peter Goldsworthy told TechCrunch in an interview.
Indeed, the site’s front page alone shows battery packs, room spray, and electronics are among the goods on offer. Bizzy’s product catalog covers standard office supplies, cleaning, foodstuffs, electronic and services.
The latter is particularly interesting. Right now the services are mostly tech support related but others — including HR, sales and operations — are planned for the future. Goldsworthy said the company will bundle some services alongside its physical products.
“One deal gives companies who buy a year of printing paper one free hour of printer support,” he said. “We’ve researched all the things that company’s do. We know that, for example, if the printer gets stuck it’s so often the receptionist or admin who has to fix it.”
Beyond a broader focus on holistic office needs, Bizzy is also targeting companies that — right now — have convoluted processes for buying for the office by offering a streamlined flow for getting items approved and bought quicker. For example, Bizzy allows the purchaser to send their order to their point of approval before the order is closed, speeding up a process that can take days with paperwork.
Finally, as an Ardent Capital company — Bizzy was born out of the firm’s Ardent Labs project in Indonesia — Bizzy can tap into a strong network. That includes sibling companies like aCommerce, the logistics firm present across Southeast Asia and backed by the likes of Docomo, as well as consumer-focused WhatsNew, which recently expanded into Indonesia.
“Sinar Mas made a major investment in Ardent, and then aCommerce has clients and potential synergies we can tap into,” Goldsworthy said on the subject of strategic relationships.
Australian Goldsworthy has been in Southeast Asia for a decade and worked with many of Ardent Capital’s founding team on other projects. He added that Bizzy’s team is keen to take the service regional sooner rather than later, much like Ardent Capital’s other profile companies.
Right now, the company has a staff of 37, but Goldsworthy foresees that number expanding as the company moves into other markets in Southeast Asia. Bangkok and Manilla are high on his wishlist at this point.