Singapore-headquartered e-commerce support platform for direct-to-consumer brands Plugo has secured US$9 million (S$12 million) in a Series A funding round led by Altos Ventures, ahead of its planned public launch in 2023.
The company offers services for brands to set up websites, and payment systems and also to manage marketing and handle shipping, warehousing, and logistics.
The Series A round also had participation from BonAngels Ventures Partners, Access Ventures, Mahanusa Capital, Prodigy Investment, and Pearl Abyss Capital.The startup said it plans to use the investments for future product developments and hiring across new divisions.
Plugo's CEO Kyungmin Bang noted that local businesses have accelerated their adoption of digital technology due to innovation in the e-commerce ecosystem and dynamic changes in consumer behaviour.
Indonesia's D2C market is expected to have a vast potential to grow, Bang said.
For years, the e-commerce ecosystem was such that establishing stores was challenging, and selling was even more so. These factors created an environment where size, experience, and the need for deep pockets discouraged the majority of new merchants.
In addition, existing merchants are concerned about their ability to build a brand for their business in the long run. This is more important than ever in today's highly saturated market, where new businesses are popping up just about anywhere, he pointed out.
"Our platform is designed to remove those hurdles—we want to democratize e-commerce and make it easier for our merchants to reach for independence," said Kyungmin.
Plugo was founded this year and has only recently begun rolling out the closed beta version. The company appears to be set on releasing in early 2023 when the platform will be experienced by future users nationwide.