BukuKas Raises $10 Mn In Series A Round Led By Sequoia Capital India
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Digital platform and app for digitizing SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in Indonesia BukuKas has announced on Tuesday to have raised $10 million in its Series A funding round led by Sequoia Capital India.
Existing investors Saison Capital, January Capital, Founderbank Capital, Cambium Grove, Endeavor Catalyst, and Amrish Rau also participated in the round. This brings the total funds raised by the company to $22 million.
The capital will be used to accelerate merchant acquisition, strengthen BukuKas’ engineering and product capabilities in both its Jakarta and Bangalore offices, as well as expand the range of services offered to merchants in line with the company’s vision to provide an end-to-end software stack to small businesses.
Launched in December 2019 and incubated by Whiteboard Capital, BukuKas, empowers small businesses with an unprecedented degree of visibility, control, and convenience and claims to have rapidly become a one-stop-shop for managing their finances and business operations within just a year of launch.
As of November 2020, it has a registered user base of 3.5 million small merchants and retailers and has crossed 1.8 million monthly active users (MAU). In November BukuKas users recorded USD 17.4 billion worth of transactions on an annualized basis using the platform, a figure corresponding to over 1.5% of Indonesia’s GDP. The strategic acquisition of the digital ledger app Catatan Keuangan Harian in September this year has also enabled BukuKas to expand its market share, strengthening their leadership position in Indonesia. Catatan Keuangan, which has grown completely organically to date, has a highly engaged base of 300,000 MAUs. An iOS version of the app launched by BukuKas in September made it to the top 10 list of business apps in two months.
“We see this funding round as a strong vote of confidence in the huge market opportunity as well as our team and execution capabilities so far. While we have grown tremendously this year, we are only just getting started. This round is an important step for us to continue to work towards our mission of empowering 60 million small merchants and retailers in Indonesia to go digital,” said Krishnan Menon, chief executive officer, and co-founder, BukuKas.
The company maintains that the simplicity of the app enables merchants to easily monitor their cash flow, profit, and credits on a daily basis. Reiterating their mission to bring more MSMEs into the digital age, Menon stated that the platform will remain customer fixated, trying to understand how it can continue to bring more value to its merchants.
With widespread penetration in tier-II, tier-III, and tier-IV cities in Indonesia, the company maintains that it is bringing the underprivileged merchants into the digital and financial world.
“While individual features can be copied, as offerings expand, maintaining an extreme level of simplicity in the product while adding substantial value will become harder. Companies that are able to achieve this at scale will gain a sustainable edge,” Menon further added.
Its features like offline mode claim to have been instrumental in catering to the needs of users who operate in areas with poor network connectivity or use low-end devices.
“Small businesses across the world are rapidly adopting software to digitize their businesses. BukuKas, an early-mover in this space in Indonesia, has seen tremendous customer pull in the past 12 months. It is a testament to the market need and product quality and is reflected in the strong underlying metrics of product-market fit - including industry-leading retention and engagement numbers. Within just six months after leading their seed round through Surge, Sequoia Capital India is doubling down on the partnership and leading their Series A,” commented Abheek Anand, managing director, Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore Pte. Ltd.
While continuing to expand its business, it is simultaneously investing substantial resources in product innovation, by upgrading features and services for the convenience of users. Some of the latest features include expense analytics, which allows users to understand what cost buckets are affecting their profit the most, and invoice auto-generation, which allows users to build an invoice with one tap and share it with customers. Over 600,000 invoices were generated and shared in October alone, the report said.
“We are excited by the massive adoption of BukuKas by merchants and retailers across Indonesia. This was further accelerated during the pandemic when our obsessive focus on users and execution capabilities ensured that we were able to scale up rapidly. Investing a lot of energy and resources in attracting incredible talent who are excited, passionate about our mission, and have a winning mentality has truly worked for us,” explained Lorenzo Peracchione, chief operating officer and co-founder, BukuKas.
Peracchione further added that BukuKas is releasing digital payments within the app in January.
“Merchants will be able to collect money from their customers using a variety of payment options in a seamless way. Payments will be automatically reconciled on the BukuKas app, further automating the bookkeeping process and reducing friction for our users,” Peracchione shared.
Acting on widespread user demand, the company has recently released an innovative inventory management module in the app, which allows small merchants to keep track of their stock movement without incurring the cumbersome frameworks that characterize current inventory management solutions.