Indonesia-based business-to-business (B2B) e-procurement startup Mbiz announced recently that it is aiming to achieve a US$20 million Series B funding round. Currently, the B2B startup is looking for suitable investors that the startup can form mutually beneficial strategic partnerships with as well as for the purposes of co-branding, with which the e-procurement startup can leverage on to boost its business as it progresses forward. According to Mbiz, since its Series A funding round from Tokyo Century Corporation three years ago in 2017, the startup has not seen the need for any fundraising for the past three years because it has been running its business with efficiency and care without breaking the bank. In fact, the startup is quite optimistic that its ongoing streak of profitability will continue into the next year.
According to Rizal Paramarta, chief executive officer of Mbiz, the funding from its expected Series B financing round will be used to grow the company’s talent as well as for the development of its platform. The chief executive officer revealed that the startup’s plan for progress thus far is to aim for a four-fold growth target next year, in 2020. Elaborating further on the startup’s plans moving forward, Rizal said that the development of its platform is actually a part of its overall strategy to become a leading ecosystem for e-procurement in the near future. As such, the startup is looking to gather pertinent entities and parties to adopt e-procurement transactions in order to fortify its platform’s ecosystem, which will encompass not just merchants and customers, but also organizations and companies from the logistics, fintech and insurance sectors.
Nevertheless, Ryn Hermawan, chief operations officer and co-founder of Mbiz, said that the startup still has to surmount a number of challenges while operating in the e-procurement space. For one, there is still a noticeable lack of engagement and awareness in the B2B marketplace in regards to e-procurement, and most companies and businesses in the B2B marketplace have not yet fully understood the benefits and advantages that e-procurement can provide as a solution for promoting transparency and increasing efficiency. Ryn also said that it is a challenge to get buyers onboard to their e-procurement platform because some of the companies already have well-established relationships with their vendors, which makes it more difficult for the startup to engage with them.
In regards to expansion, Rizal disclosed that even though the startup has received an offer from interested investors to expand its business to other overseas markets in the Southeast Asia region, Mbiz is currently not placing a priority on regional expansion as it believes that there is still a lot of untapped potential to explore in the Indonesian market, especially in view of the fact that awareness surrounding e-procurement solutions remains quite low in the country. Therefore, the immediate plan is for the new funding to be focused on the startup’s growth in Indonesia. However, Rizal did not completely rule out expanding the startup to new markets abroad as he believes that there is huge market potential there.
Ryn Hermawan said that the e-procurement startup, Mbiz, hopes to finalize its Series B funding round by the second quarter of 2020. The startup has already engaged the services of an advisor as it seeks out promising investors to partner with in order to accelerate the growth of its business.