Indonesia has long been a headache for logistics companies. However, brave challengers have tried to take up the seemingly insurmountable task by applying various methodologies. One such company offers a bold new vision of how groceries should be delivered to customers in this sprawling archipelago. It is Astro.
Astro is a quick-commerce platform that provides 15-minute grocery delivery. It has raised $60 million in a Series B funding round led by Accel, Citius (Biopharmaceutical corporation), and Tiger Global. Existing investors AC Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Lightspeed, and Sequoia Capital India also participated in the funding round, lifting its total funding to $90 million since the business launched just nine months ago. The latest fund will be used to improve customer service and expand the team size in 2022.
The company has been attracting huge investments from various VC investors. They plan to quickly develop an infrastructure network and lock in loyal customers before their rivals can.
“Grocery delivery is notoriously cash-burning. A large chunk of the business’s cost comes from delivery, which will come down over time as we deploy for hubs and subsequently reduce the delivery distance areas,” said Vincent Tjendra, co-founder and CEO, Astro, in a statement.
The startup has started collaborating with local businesses to launch its private label, starting with coffees, bread, and seasonal treats. This is an extension of its initiative to collaborate with local farmers that enable customers to access its fresh fruit and vegetable selections within 15 minutes, claimed the startup in a statement.
Founded in 2021 by Vincent Tjendra, Astro offers 15-minutes grocery delivery services 24 hours a day at nearly 50 locations in Jakarta’s broader metropolitan area. The company has opted for a cash-intensive model, as it owns the entire user journey going from inventory sourcing, and supply chain to delivery.
“Revenues grew more than ten times over the past few months and downloads hit 1 million. The company’s customers range from working professionals to young parents at home who seek convenience,” said Tjendra.
According to reports, like many other countries, Indonesia also got a boost in the e-commerce sector during the Covid-19 pandemic. But e-grocery adoption in the country remains low and is estimated to be just 0.5 percent, compared to South Korea’s 34 percent in 2020. Astro tries to exploit this opportunity. Currently, the e-grocery delivery market in Indonesia is projected to reach $6 billion by 2025.
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