Bananas, an Indonesian rapid commerce company, has raised US $1.5 million in a preliminary fundraising round headed by East Ventures.
SMDV, ARISE, MDI Ventures, and a group of anonymous angel investors also contributed.
Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley-based accelerator, has funded US $500,000 in Bananas’ initial round after it was selected into its Winter 2022 group.
Banana plans to utilise the capital to recruit staff to help with product development, inventory, customer service, and dark shop operations (micro-hubs located near high-density residential neighbourhoods to deliver ordered groceries close to being instant).
Bananas plans to open at least 50 dark stores in Jakarta and other Indonesian tier-1 cities soon.
Bananas was formed in late 2021 by CTO Kristian Sinaulan and CEO Mario Gaw, both of whom were early employees of Lazada Indonesia. Gaw also has substantial e-commerce expertise, having held C-level positions at firms such as Cashbac, an instant rewards mobile app platform, and Tiket.com, an online travel company, to name a few.
The business aims to tap into Indonesia’s underserved grocery industry by delivering fresh fruits and vegetables in minutes at retail costs. Customers may shop for preferred food items, pay, and anticipate delivery within 10 minutes on average thanks to Bananas’ tech-enabled micro-hubs, according to the business.
“Bananas was established during the pandemic era when we realised the needs of customers of top-quality grocery items, speed, and convenience during these difficult times,” said Gaw. “[The funding] will accelerate our mission to revolutionise the grocery shopping experience in the market.”
Online buyers in Indonesia increased from 75 million pre-Covid-19 to 85 million during the epidemic, according to consultancy firm Redseer.
Indonesia, along with China, India, and Japan, is one of the largest food marketplaces in Asia, with a population of 270 million people. According to research by the Institute of Grocery Distribution, the archipelago’s grocery industry is predicted to reach US $169.4 billion in 2022, up from US $140.2 billion in 2019.
Astro, an on-demand rapid e-commerce platform in Indonesia for groceries and other daily commodities, recently raised US $27 million in Series A funding led by Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital India.