GREE Ventures, the VC arm of Japanese gaming giant GREE, has made its third investment in an Indonesian e-commerce startup through an undisclosed Series A round in fashion-focused Berrybenka. The size of the stake it has bought has not been revealed either.
Last year saw GREE Ventures make its first investments in Indonesia when it put an undisclosed sum into PriceArea, a price comparison site, and later Bukalapak. Now, with Berrybenka, it is focused on women. The site covers a range of clothing including dresses, tops, skirts, bags and shoes, as well as kids clothing.
Berrybenka says it operates like a department store in so much that it picks local and international brands (it has more than 250 partners) and curates the products that are most suited to its customers. “Our fashion team is always dedicated to selecting the latest brands and products. We will continually launch new products to meet the fashion needs of women,” its website reads.
Claudia Widjaja, co-founder of the site, says that the money will be used to grow the business by expanding the number of products and categories on offer, as well as increasing its marketing efforts and logistics capacity.
The deal also sees Jason Lamuda, who co-founded Disdus — the Indonesian group buying site bought by Groupon in 2011 — join Berrybenka as President Director.
Lamuda says that there is huge potential for fashion-focused e-commerce in Indonesia, and he believes Berrybenka can lead the market as a homegrown service:
I truly believe that fashion is one of the biggest market opportunities in the Indonesian e-Commerce landscape. When you look at more developed regions such as Europe, China, Japan and India, there always existed leading local fashion e-Commerce players. Similarly, we aspire to become the leading fashion e-Commerce player in Indonesia, built locally.
Ferry Tenka, the other co-founder of Disdus, is a member of Berrybenka’s advisory board and he remains in Indonesia’s e-commerce space with his own startup, kids wear-focused Bilna. Tenka’s new business was recently backed by Japan’s CyberAgent Ventures.
As we said at the time of GREE Venture’s PriceArea deal, e-commerce is a lucrative and growing industry in Indonesia. Estimates suggest that the Indonesian e-commerce space netted $266 million (IDR 2.5 trillion) in transactions in 2012, but that’s a figure that Ideosource expects to nearly triple over the next two years, reaching $736 million during 2014.
Southeast Asian startups are increasing looking to to regional, and Widjaja says that is the plan for Berrybenka in due course.
“Currently, we are focusing on the Indonesian market. However, in the long term we have intention to expand to other Southeast Asian markets especially once we have established a local partnership/relationship in the respective country,” she tells TNW.
More immediately, however, the focus is to “increase our branding and get more people to know about Berrybenka”, as well as hiring more merchandisers, customer service representatives and technical programmers, Widjaja explains.
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