[Funding alert] Indonesia startup Ula raises $20 M in Series A round led by Quona Capital and B Capital Group

The new funding will allow Ula to grow its geographical footprint, expand the startup's suite of products and services, and move into new categories.
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Ula, an Indonesia-based marketplace app that uses technology to modernise distribution and credit for small retailers, has raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Quona Capital and B Capital Group. Existing investors, including Lightspeed India Partnersand Sequoia Capital India, also participated in this round.

Quona Capital was also a key participant in Ula’s seed round of $10.5 million that was raised in June 2020.

According to a statement, the new funding will allow the startup to grow its geographical footprint, expand its suite of products and services, and move into new categories.

Since launching in January 2020 with teams in Indonesia, India, and Singapore, Ula claims to have grown to serve over 20,000 stores, primarily in East Java. The platform provides micro retailers with simple-to-use tools and technology that digitises their supply chain, inventory, and working capital management.

In a statement, Nipun Mehra, Co-founder of Ula, said,

“Small stores are deeply integrated into the economic and cultural fabric of Indonesia. They are micro-entrepreneurs with highly cost-efficient operations compared to their modern retail counterparts. However, their small scale, limited upstream product availability, high prices, poor service and limited working capital makes them the most vulnerable segment of the retail value chain. These problems aren’t restricted to one category — FMCG and other consumables, apparel, electronics, etc., all encounter common problems."

Nipun Mehra, Co-founder, Ula

"Ula’s founders came together because we wanted to solve these pain points in the industry. We take a retailer-first approach to address these pain points,” added Nipun.

With teams spread across Indonesia, India, and Singapore, Ula has been a distributed organisation from the start. Ula is currently setting up tech teams in Indonesia, India, and Singapore, and also hiring across key roles in category management, analytics, credit, as well as city P&L leaders in Indonesia.

Commenting about the investment, Ganesh Rengaswamy, Managing Partner at Quona Capital stated,

“Ula is transforming the entire retail value chain with its retailer-first approach, empowering the small retailer by offering them a wide range of products, competitive prices and doorstep delivery."

“Ula’s comprehensive approach and rapid product innovation is enabled by a truly distinctive team that combines deep experiences from e-commerce and FinTech,” added Dan Bertoli, Venture Partner at Quona Capital.

Ula’s current focus is on “daily needs” consumer goods, items considered to be Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and staples, like rice — essential items for every Indonesian household. The startup currently partners with over 20,000 store owners in Java, Indonesia.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta