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Indonesia-based HappyFresh announces Series B round, leaves Philippines and Taiwan

HappyFresh CEO Markus Bihler says independently sustainable companies are the ones that last, so they will be focussing on three key markets

By Kevin McSpadden

HappyFresh FINAL

HappyFresh, the Jakarta-based grocery delivery platform, announced today it has raised an undisclosed Series B round while also revealing it will be consolidating operations and pulling out of the Philippines and Taiwan.

The round was led Dubai-based private equity firm Samena Capital, with HappyFresh CEO Markus Bihler telling e27 a major reason for the partnership was Samena’s status as a leading investment firm for logistics.

“Number one, given that our business is, to a significant extent, a logistics business, we feel the support on logistics is very value-add,” said Bihler.

“And number two, they are a classic large-cap private equity firm with significant ties to offline retail, which is the second arm of the HappyFresh business,” he said.

Also Read: 5 reasons why HappyFresh stands out among other grocery delivery startups

Other participants in the round were Vertex Ventures, the venture-arm of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, Sinar Mas Digital Ventures of Indonesia’s Sinarmas Group and Endeavor Catalyst, a New York-based venture arm of Endeavor Capital.

The fundraising, which was larger than the US$12 million Series A the company raised in September 2015, remains undisclosed in large part because Bihler said it brought unnecessary attention to the number.

In regards to the decision to pull out of the Philippines and Taiwan, Bihler said a crucial goal for HappyFresh is to focus on its core markets.

“I believe that companies who are profitable and independently sustainable are companies that last, and therefore can continue to serve, in our case, the end customers and offline retail partners,” he said.

The decision to consolidate the company to Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia was a fast decision. It comes six months after the company entered the Philippines back in March and less than a year since it launched in Taiwan.

“What we have decided is we will focus our effort on the three core markets that we have chosen to operate in, which is Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand,” said Bihler.

Because HappyFresh puts emphasis on the role of logistics in the decision to go with Samena Capital, e27 asked Bihler to provide some details as to how that looks on-the-ground.

“I think if I go back and look at what HappyFresh is, we are a digital marketplace for offline retailers on the front end. And on the backend we are a digitally enabled fulfillment operation. So the largest efficiency gains that we have seen historically, and I am very sure that we will see in the future, is driven by technology,” said Bihler.

This means intelligent use of routing, the increase of prediction software, and more efficient usage of resources (the time and availability of the shopper and drivers in the company).

Also Read: Indonesia teaches people to be flexible: HappyFresh’s Markus Bihler

HappyFresh was founded in October 2014 and began operating in March of 2015.

Its operating model is similar to that of competitor honestbee — in which shoppers visit specific grocery stores and shop for the consumer before the food is delivered. As a comparison, another grocery delivery player, RedMart, has its own warehouses and thus does not ‘shop’ for customers.

  • Honestbee
    Honestbee Singapore honestbee is a concierge grocery delivery service. Shop from the supermarkets you love online and receive your groceries within the hour! Funding: 15M Seed Investors: Formation 8

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Peter Nguyen
Peter Nguyen • Peter is serial entrepreneur in emerging markets (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar).
Agreed! Should focus on key market and effort to be sustainable, long lasting than burning money in frontier market.
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