Investree, a pioneering fintech peer-to-peer lending platform in Indonesia, recently announced that it had acquired an undisclosed amount of shares in business-to-business (B2B) e-procurement startup Mbiz. The acquisition represents the endeavor by Investree to build and develop a comprehensive supporting framework and infrastructure for nurturing the growth of Indonesia’s small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). Investree also noted that the supporting infrastructure to be built will not be limited to just financing, but will encompass other vital areas as well.
Even though Adrian Gunadi, co-founder and chief executive officer of Investree, did not disclose the percentage of shares that was acquired by the fintech lending platform at Mbiz, it is known to be quite significant as Investree was able to get a seat as a board observer at Mbiz’s board of directors, though it will have no authority or right to vote on making business decisions. He also added that the share acquisition process had been going on for close to a year and that it had started with capital financing for suppliers.
Adrian elaborated on Investree’s acquisition of B2B startup Mbiz, saying that the fintech lending platform intends to expand its range of services beyond finance to also include business solutions for SMEs. The company came to the conclusion that, instead of creating and developing a procurement system from scratch, it is more efficient and cost-effective to establish a strategic partnership with a well-established procurement company by becoming its shareholder. In this case, Investree became interested in Mbiz because of its unique structure and its pool of buyers and vendors that are aligned with what the peer-to-peer lending company is after. The acquisition of Mbiz will therefore help Investree further accelerate the digitization of Indonesia’s SMEs through on-boarding businesses and enterprises to an e-procurement platform that promotes transparency and accountability, thus enhancing their performance and competency.
Rizal Paramarta, chief executive officer of Mbiz, said that having Investree as an important shareholder of the startup has enabled it to form a strategic partnership that is able to strengthen and boost the startup’s commitment of becoming a leading e-procurement services provider in the country. He added that, starting next year, Investree will develop more products that are specifically targeted at more of Mbiz’s clients. Rizal also explained that Mbiz had so far only provided an online platform that enables transactions between buyers and sellers, although one of its end goals is to create a comprehensive end-to-end ecosystem for procurement solutions. The startup started out with financing because B2B transactions are inseparable from the need for working capital.
Mbiz provides an e-procurement platform that grants access to a smooth flow of working capital for both SMEs and vendors, which helps them to address the issue of difficult payment terms that are sometimes not compatible with their cash flow, thus hampering the development of their business. The strategic partnership formed with Investree is aimed at providing an efficacious solution for both SMEs and goods and services companies that are able to afford them the ability and time to pay their vendors and enable them to continue growing their business.
Moving forward, the pioneering fintech peer-to-peer lending platform Investree will look at other startups and companies that are actively engaged in the SME business supporting ecosystem, both nationally and regionally. Meanwhile Mbiz, the B2B e-procurement startup, will leverage on its partnership with Investree to continue its plans of developing an end-to-end ecosystem for procurement solutions in Indonesia.