Waresix, one of a handful of startups aiming to modernize logistics in Indonesia — the world’s fourth most populous country — has pulled in $14.5 million to grow its 18-month-old business.
This new investment, Waresix’s Series A, is led by EV Growth — the growth-stage fund co-run by East Ventures — with participation from SMDV — the investment arm of Indonesia corporation Sinar Mas — and Singapore’s Jungle Ventures. The startup previously raised $1.6 million last year from East Ventures, SMDV and Monk’s Hill Ventures. It closed a seed round in early 2018.
Waresix is aiming to digitize logistics, the business of moving goods from A to B, which it believes is worth a total of $240 billion in Indonesia.
A large part of that is down to the country’s geography. The archipelago officially has more than 17,000 islands, but there are five main ones. That necessitates a lot of challenges for logistics, which are said to account for 25-30% of GDP — a figure that is typically below 5% in Western markets — while Indonesia barely scraped the top 50 rankings in World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index.
But, as Southeast Asia’s largest economy and the key market for digital growth in the region, that makes this an attractive problem to solve… or, rather, attractive industry to modernize.
Like others in its space worldwide — which include Chinese unicorn Manbang and BlackBuck in India — Waresix is focused on optimizing logistics by making the process more transparent for clients and more efficient for haulage companies and truckers. That includes removing the chain of “middle man” brokers, who add costs and reduce transparency, and provide a one-stop solution for transportation by land or sea, as well as cold storage and general cargo handling.
As of today, Waresix claims a fleet of more than 20,000 trucks and over 200 warehouse partners across Indonesia. The company said it plans to use this new capital to expand that coverage further. In particular, that’ll include additional land transport options and additional warehouse capacity in tier-two cities and more remote areas. That’s a push that founders Andree Susanto (CEO) and Edwin Wibowo (CFO) — who met at UC Berkeley in the U.S. — believe fits with Indonesia’s own $400 billion commitment to improve national infrastructure and transport.
It is also consistent with East Ventures, the long-standing early-stage VC, which has backed a pack of young companies aiming to inject internet smarts into traditional industries in Indonesia. Some of that portfolio includes Warung Pintar, which develops smart street vendor kiosks, Kedai Sayur, which is digitizing street vendors, and Fore Coffee, which draws inspiration from China’s digital-first brand Luckin Coffee, which recently listed in the U.S.
Now with EV Growth, which reached a final close of $200 million thanks to LPs that include SoftBank, East Ventures has the firepower to write larger checks that go beyond seed and pre-Series A deals, as it has done with Waresix.
But the company is far from alone in going after the logistics opportunity in Indonesia. Its rivals include Kargo, which was started by a former Uber Asia exec and is backed by Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick’s 10100 fund among others, and Ritase.
Ritase, which claims to be profitable, closed an $8.5 million Series A this week. It said it has 7,500 trucks and, on the client side, some 500 SMEs and a smattering of well-known global brands. Kargo has kept its metrics quiet, but it is a later arrival on the scene. The startup only came out of stealth in March of this year when it announced a $7.6 million funding round.