Evermos, a Halal/Sharia-compliant social commerce company based in Bandung, Indonesia, has received over US$30 million in an “oversubscribed” Series B investment round.
Led by Asia Impact Investment Fund II (owned by UOB Venture Management), the round also saw participation from IFC, MDI Ventures, TMI and Future Shape. Its Series A investors Jungle Ventures and Shunwei Capital also joined.
Evermos intends to utilise the financing to expand its leadership and growth teams and deepen technology development.
The company also looks to further penetrate lower-tier areas. At the moment, 70 per cent of its resellers are in Java island. Going forward, it will double down in Sumatra and Kalimantan.
The startup was founded in November 2018 by Ghufron Mustaqim, Iqbal Muslimin, Ilham Taufiq and Arip Tirta. Evermos enables individuals (resellers) to sell locally sourced products to their community via WhatsApp or social media platforms. While the resellers focus on generating demand and selling the products, Evermos manages inventory, logistics, and customer support. According to the startup, this empowers resellers to operate their businesses without the need for capital.
Today, the social commerce startup claims to have generated micro-entrepreneurship opportunities for more than 100,000 active resellers across more than 500 tier 2 and 3 cities and regencies.
Products from 500-plus brands, of which more than 95 per cent are sourced from local small and medium enterprises (SMEs), are curated and made available on the platform. These encompass a wide range of products suited to the Indonesian lifestyle, including Muslim fashion, halal health, beauty and F&B products.
The founders claim the business has seen rapid growth, with total transaction value increasing by more than 60x over the last two years.
Co-founder and deputy CEO Mustaqim said: “Ekonomi Gotong Royong’, or ‘Collaborative Economic Empowerment’ is the underpinning philosophy of Evermos. By leveraging our network of resellers, we are providing a platform for our local SMEs to grow their business while enabling our resellers to generate additional income by selling these local products.”
Evermos president Tirta remarked: “Our vision is to empower one million micro-entrepreneurs over the next five years. One of the key factors that influence how we run our company is measuring the sustainability and societal impact of our platform. A share of the company’s income is used to uplift individuals and SMEs in lower-tier cities.”
Currently, the startup is running a pilot programme, Desa Evermos, with almost 100 villages in Indonesia to partner with the local businesses in the villages and convert the underproductive residents into community assets by becoming its resellers.
Clarissa Loh, Senior Director at UOB Venture Management, said, “The population of more than 200 million living outside tier 1 cities in Indonesia represents a huge opportunity for Evermos given the consumer demand. As e-commerce penetration in these areas tends to be low partly due to low internet connectivity, logistics challenges and distrust or unfamiliarity of online shopping, Evermos’s innovative social commerce model can bridge the gap by enabling social sellers to market products to these consumers.”
In 2019, Evermos bagged US$8.25 million in Series A led by Jungle Ventures, with participation from Shunwei Capital and Alpha JWC.
According to a 2021 McKinsey report, Indonesia’s social commerce industry is projected to grow to US$25 billion by 2022, accelerated by COVID-19, with people looking for alternate sources of income. The pandemic had impacted employment opportunities in parts of Indonesia, including job losses seen in some families. Some resellers had been able to supplement family incomes through product sales on the Evermos platform, allowing them to earn income to tide their families over in these tough periods.
Image Credit: Evermos
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