Berrybenka Bags Major Funding to Open Physical Stores

26 January 2017

Indonesian online fashion store Berrybenka secured new funds at the end of last year, the startup announced today. It’s an “eight-figure amount” in US dollars from Maj Invest Private Equity, Asia Summit Capital, the SoftBank-Indosat Fund, and other local investors.

After this round of funding, Berrybenka CEO Jason Lamuda says the startup will explore new areas like using social media and messaging apps to reach customers and increase offline activities like selling through pop-up stores.

The plan for this year is to open twenty pop-up stores, in addition to a few permanent ones.

Last year Berrybenka opened 14 pop-up stores. The plan for this year is to open twenty more, in addition to a few permanent shops.

With these offline stores, Berrybenka believes it can introduce new services. It wants its customers to be able to order online but pick up the goods at a Berrybenka shop. You can also try the clothes on first and only pay for those you like.

This year, Berrybenka wants to strengthen its presence on messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Line. It plans to launch a chatbot assistant named Stella, which can handle customer questions and complaints on those channels.

Berrybenka also plans to introduce new fashion lines, such as Berrybenka Curve and Berrybenka Premium, to address different types of tastes.

Established in 2011, Berrybenka raised seed funding from East Ventures in 2012, and series A from Gree in January 2013. It then secured a US$5 million series B round in November that same year from TransCosmos and Gree Ventures.

Berrybenka has several competitors in Indonesia, including Zalora, which is backed by Rocket Internet, and local startup Sale Stock.

Just a few months ago, some companies in the fashion ecommerce category had to trim down team size – Berrybenka was one of them. But Jason said at the time that the layoffs were “minor” and that the overall plan is still to grow and boost profitability.

Source: Tech in Asia