Plugo, an eCommerce support platform for D2C brands in Southeast Asia, lands $9M Series A • TechCrunch

Singapore-based startup Plug has secured $9 million in a Series A funding round. The company offers a full range of eCommerce support services for direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, from building a website, setting up a system from payment and marketing management to handling shipping, warehousing and logistics. In other words, Plugo allows D2C merchants to focus on their products and supports other processes.

The Series A round was led by Altos Ventures, with participation from BonAngels Ventures Partners, Access Ventures, Mahanusa Capital, Prodigy Investment and Pearl Abyss Capital. The company did not disclose its valuation when asked.

The startup plans to use the proceeds to bolster its R&D team and hire more engineers, Plugo co-founder and CEO KyungMin Bang said, adding that it currently employs about 30 people.

Bang founded Plugo two months ago with five founding members. Approximately 200 D2C brands have already started using the Plugo beta service in Indonesia. The Singapore-based startup with offices in Indonesia and South Korea intends to officially launch its service in Indonesia in the first quarter of next year.

The company wants to focus on the Indonesian market, one of the largest markets in Southeast Asia, for the next 12 months, and then expand to other Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, Bang told TechCrunch. It has partnered with a number of logistics companies, including the one in Indonesia jne express, YesCpat Y J&Tand a payout as IndonesiaBang pointed out.

Bang, a serial entrepreneur, was inspired to offer a comprehensive management system for D2C brands and merchants in Indonesia to set up online stores after noticing the Indonesian D2C market, which represents less than 1% of the country’s total e-commerceIt is in its infancy but is growing rapidly.

Indonesia’s D2C market is expected to have great growth potential, with the fourth largest population size, including the growing youth population in the coming years and the rapid penetration of smartphone users in the country, Bang noted.

“Local business [in Indonesia] they have accelerated their adoption of digital technology due to innovation in the e-commerce ecosystem and dynamic changes in consumer behavior,” Bang said. In Indonesia, D2C platforms have become a new trend in the e-commerce industry from the business-to-consumer (B2C) platform that has dominated the e-commerce market for the past decade, Bang explained.

The startup is looking to challenge e-commerce players like Shopify in Southeast Asia. “I think we have enormous potential because there is still a lot of room to grow and huge gaps. [in the D2C business] that the big eCommerce giants like Shopify are still unable to address [in Southeast Asia]. For example, we can offer tailored services, particularly for small merchants like MSMEs in the region, and empower them to sell online,” Bang said.

“We believe the timing is perfect for the birth of Plugo, as the e-commerce landscape is undergoing turbulence that will bring positive disruption, benefiting aspiring sellers and consumers alike,” said Charles Rim, founder and general partner of Access Ventures, in a statement. declaration.

Bang previously exited two startups: Indonesian e-commerce enabler TokoTalk, operator CodeBrick that Singapore’s e-commerce Sea bought in 2021 by Pitchbookand the Korean PC online game J2MSoft (J2M), which Electronic Arts acquired in 2008. (According to a Tech report on AisaSea has shut down the TokoTalk service since October in an effort to reduce costs amid broader economic uncertainty.)

“Plugo’s mission aligns with our own mission to create significant economic value while positively contributing to society,” Moon-Suk Oh, a partner at Altos Ventures, said in a statement. “Plugo offers an unmatched set of digital capabilities that will transform the future of e-commerce in Indonesia.”

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