In late April, Indian marketing automation platform for e-commerce companies Betaout announced it has received a US$1.5 million pre-Series A round from various investors including Beenext, Stanford Angels, LetsVenture, Chennai Angels, Hyderabad Angels, Mumbai Angels, and previous investors Sam Yagan of Match Group and Corazon Capital.
Which begs the question, what plan does the company have in mind following the funding round?
“We’re planning to rent an island,” Betaout Founder and CEO Ankit Maheshwari jokingly replied in an interview with e27.
But on a serious note, apart from investing in technology and sales, Betaout is also looking to expand to the US and Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, by next year.
In Indonesia, Betaout has already secured clients such as e-commerce giant Tokopedia.
“E-commerce in Indonesia is very similar to e-commerce in India, but I believe it is [falling] three years behind India. In India, we have solved problems like payments, logistics, while in Indonesia these are the problems that entrepreneurs are working on right now,” Maheshwari explained.
To get ahead of competition, Betaout chose to stay focussed on building a product that its end-users would need.
“We are just adding new features day-by-day, we are closely monitoring what is working for us or not,” Maheshwari said.
Recently, apart from a flow of investments from Japan, Indonesia has seen more Indian startups entering the market.
According to Maheshwari, the reason why Indian startups are interested in Indonesian market goes beyond its friendly and open-minded human resources.
“Indonesian entrepreneurs also have an advantage in terms of looking over the shoulders of what people have done in China, India, and the US. In that sense, they have already seen some of the successes and failures, which they can bank on,” he explained.
“I think the market is growing right now. VC communities are also shaping up their presence in Indonesia,” he added.
During the same interview, Betaout Co-Founder Mayank Dhingra explained market size and Internet penetration are the key factors on why startups can grow rapidly in the country.
“For example Go-Jek, they have an impressive growth, doing over a million orders a day. That’s what is really exciting. And we see that the very same e-commerce growth that has shaped India is going to shape Indonesia in a similar fashion,” he said.
While entering a new market certainly has its own challenges, Betaout feels that at the moment it is still too early to map out its greatest challenges in entering Indonesian market.
“There’ll be some requirements to improve or customise the product for Indonesian market. So right now we have a generic product which works globally but there’ll be couple of features [specifically for the market],” Maheshwari explained.
The most valuable lessons Betaout has learned so far about Indonesian e-commerce scene is that social e-commerce is still very big in the country.
“People are still using channels like Instagram, BBM … In India, we don’t have those kind of channels. Also, similar to what is happening in India, bank transfer option is still great in e-commerce,” he concluded.
Image Credit: Betaout