Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Klarna founder back Indonesia-based BukuWarung in $60m round

Indonesian FinTech startup BukuWarung raised $60m in Series A funding in a round led by Valar Ventures and Goodwater Capital.

Other investors in the oversubscribed round include existing investors and angel investors such as Quona Capital, former GoPay chief executive Aldi Haryopratomo, Klarna founder Victor Jacobsson, Khatabook CEO Ravish Naresh as well as partners from SoftBank and Trihill Capital.

The latest funding brings BukuWarung’s total funding to date to about $80m.

The startup will use the funds to enhance its technology and product capabilities across its core accounting, digital payments and commerce products. This includes building a “robust payments infrastructure” to solve deeper use cases for Indonesian merchants, such as QR payments and financial services.

Furthermore, the startup will use the funding to bolster the MSME operating system by enhancing the platform with better workflow for payments and building deeper accounting use cases for its merchants, it added. The startup aims to expand its product portfolio to include lending, insurance, savings and strengthen its core accounting, digital payments and commerce products.

It also has “aggressive hiring plans”, with plans to double its team size to 300 from 150 and triple its engineering and product teams across Indonesia, Singapore, India, as well as remote teams in other locations.

Founded in 2019, BukuWarung helps micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) digitise their business. While it initially started by offering accounting solutions to merchants, it soon expanded to digital payments and helping merchants go from offline to online.

To date, the company has over 6.5 million registered merchants on its platform across 750 Indonesian cities and towns and has grown nearly 5X in team size over the last six months, it claimed.

BukuWarung co-founder and chief executive Abhinay Peddisetty said, “The digital solutions specific to the needs of small businesses in the emerging economies of Asia and the world are the need of the hour with the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. With this funding, we aim to leverage the talent base and learnings from the MSME ecosystem across Asia, including India, for the digital empowerment of MSMEs in Indonesia and beyond.”

Echoing a similar sentiment, Valar Ventures founding partner James Fitzgerald added, “The entire team at BukuWarung are dedicated to helping merchants adapt to an online world of commerce and have established themselves as the clear market leader through relentless execution. They close the digital gap for millions of merchants across Indonesia and lead the charge towards a digital infrastructure, which is more comprehensive and accessible than anything seen in the market. BukuWarung is a compelling opportunity….”

BukuWarung’s business is similar to book-keeping operations providers B Capital-backed Khatabook, Vyapaar and Tiger Global-backed OkCredit which are also leveraging transaction data from small merchants to extend credit and other financial services.

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