Mid Pandemic, Digital School Management Startup InfraDigital Closes Series A

InfraDigital today announced the closing of an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from investor AppWorks. The company helps schools kickstart their digital transformation by digitizing student and financial data, automating back office processes, and facilitating online tuition payments.

Rapid Expansion across 12 provinces

This funding round follows on from their seed funding last year. They are now active in 13 provinces in Indonesia, from North Sumatera to South Sulawesi, with their platform deployed in over 350 schools serving over 165,000 students.

The startup partners with a variety of stakeholders including banks, education foundations, and government bodies to help Indonesian schools upgrade their largely analog systems. InfraDigital is also the innovator behind “Jaringan IDN”, a payments processing network established in conjunction with Gojek, Tokopedia, LinkAja, Alfamart, Ayopop, Indomaret, and many more to help educational institutions seamlessly collect tuition fees both online and offline.

Why it is important for schools

Edtech has the potential to substantially elevate Indonesia’s quality of education, while improving outcomes and overall standards of living for over 50 million students. Unfortunately, the reality is that most schools struggle with tracking even basic student data and often lack the digital tools for proper financial management and planning. The high cost of existing solutions has also inhibited widespread access to digital technologies, especially for schools in more rural areas which are often strained for resources.

InfraDigital has been actively assisting schools to address these pain points, targeting two of the most impactful areas of school management, financial operations and data transparency. Through their platform, schools are able to transition to cashless tuition collection, increasing income up to 16% in some cases. With InfraDigital, school administrators are granted full visibility into the operational health of their organization, enabling them to make smarter financial decisions and create a better student experience.

Since its establishment in 2018, InfraDigital’s solutions have been widely adopted among Tier 2 and rural area schools, with many experiencing data and financial digitalization for the first time. “Our mission is to help Indonesian schools create a seamless student experience through technology. Whether it’s in terms of facilitating online payments or streamlining back office operations, we can help schools embrace digitalization with ease. We’re currently focused on building the underlying technical infrastructure so that we can eventually layer more value-added services on top for all stakeholders involved including administrators, teachers, students, and parents. This foundation is critical in bridging the growing inequality between remote schools and urban schools, and ensuring all students are afforded a quality education despite their socioeconomic status.” says Indah Maryani, co-founder of InfraDigital.

Pandemic “accelerating” digital transformation of schools

News of the funding arrives at the height of COVID-19, which shuttered countless schools across the country and forced many of them to look towards online education. InfraDigital moved quickly to assist schools at the onset of the pandemic, reducing the cost of their online payments platform and adding a PPDB/PMB (online student registration) service free of charge while schools were forced to remain closed during the pandemic.

“The pandemic has actually pushed many educational institutions to reassess their decades old manual processes and explore digital options that optimize for efficiency, costs, and insights. Since the start of the crisis, we have seen a flood of requests to assist in multiple areas of school management, including online student registration, payments, and other digital administrative functions,” says Indah.

Future roadmap

The company is currently dedicating all its resources to assisting new and existing clients and helping them meet the added demands and complexities during COVID19 closures. Especially during this period of economic uncertainty, InfraDigital’s innovative tools reduce any friction in student payments and enrollments via PPDB/PMB, ultimately helping schools secure their finances and build a solid operational foundation.

“Schools in Indonesia have long been suffering from inefficient cash flow due to the widespread use of legacy, paper-based systems. Services like Infradigital are a win-win for both parents and educational institutions, allowing them to easily manage the tuition payment process and enhance schools’ finances and overall operational capacities,“ says AppWorks partner Jessica Liu.

Moving forward, InfraDigital hopes to expand its footprint to other regions of Indonesia and eventually become a full-stack digital solution for educational institutions. ”Longer term our goal remains the same, to provide every school in Indonesia, regardless of resources, with solid digital and financial foundations. The industry is at an early stage and we have a lot of work to do, a lot of schools to reach. We are delighted to have the continued support of AppWorks and count ourselves lucky to have an investor who shares our long-term vision,” says Ian McKenna, co-founder and CEO of InfraDigital.

【If you are a founder working on a startup in SEA, or working with AI / Blockchain, apply to AppWorks Accelerator to join the largest founder community in Greater Southeast Asia.】

Indonesia-Based New Retail Company ‘Fabelio’ Announces US$9 Million Series C1 Funding to Take on IKEA

  • Fabelio is one of Indonesia’s top furniture brands. It has successfully raised US$9 million as part of its ongoing Series C Round, led by AppWorks and MDI Ventures and  Endeavour Catalyst.
  • Funding will be used to accelerate its domestic presence within Indonesia and Southeast Asia, as well as strengthen its technological and supply chain capabilities.
  • Since its launch in 2015, Fabelio has established three offices and 20 experience centres in Indonesia, spearheaded by 82% year-on-year growth in 2019.

Indonesia’s leading new online furniture retailer, Fabelio, announced today that it has successfully raised US$9 million as part of its Series C round, bringing its total funding to more than US$20 million. The first close of the round was led by Taiwanese venture firm, AppWorks, Endeavour Catalyst and Telkom Group-backed MDI Ventures. Existing investor, Aavishkaar Capital also contributed to the fund. This round of financing will further accelerate the development of Fabelio’s supply chain network of logistics hubs and experience centres to support its domestic expansion into new regions and cities within Indonesia such as Java and Bali by November 2020. As part of this latest round, AppWork’s’ Partner, Jessica Liu will be joining Fabelio’s Board of Directors.

“After five years of scaling up and defining the fundamentals of our ‘new retail’ strategy, we are ready to accelerate our growth with this Series C round,” said Marshall Tegar Utoyo, CEO and Co-Founder at Fabelio. “We are grateful to our new investors from AppWorks, Endeavour Catalyst and MDI Ventures for their support and global expertise. Our main focus will be to improve our product categories and improve delivery times. On top of that, we will expand our sphere of influence across Indonesia by opening new warehouses and experience centres in new cities. Additionally, we are seeing more US and Chinese companies are setting up operations in Indonesia, opening up opportunities for global trade and manufacturing. These  market trends, combined with their efforts will enable us to win a larger market share in this exciting US$6.7 billion home furniture market in Indonesia.”

Founded in 2015, Fabelio offers well-crafted and high-quality furniture for the Indonesian market from local designers at attractive prices, offering free same-day delivery services and a 2-year warranty period for all its products. The company also positions itself as a bespoke B2B service for properties, providing a free interior design consultancy for those seeking to furnish homes, office spaces, hotels or restaurants. Since its US$6.5 million Series B fundraise in 2018, Fabelio has experienced exponential growth in Indonesia, boasting three domestic offices and

20 experience centres in strategic areas such as Jabodetabek and Bandung with a headcount of 430 staff. To date, Fabelio has experienced 82% year-on-year growth in customer acquisition, with more than 1,000 B2B projects ranging from residential properties such as houses and apartments, offices to retail brands such as Citraland, BRI and Jakarta MRT. Its product shipments have now reached more than 750 sub-districts throughout Java. Its unit economics have been positive since late 2017 and is on track to target profitability by 2022.

“Over the last couple of years, the trend has been crystal clear: the contribution of online sales in every vertical has been increasing in Indonesia: be it electronics, fashion, groceries or furniture. This trend has been massively accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, we recorded our highest online sales ever with figures surpassing those experienced during Indonesia’s #1 online shopping day Harbolnas on 12/12. The future of e-commerce is brighter than ever, and the simultaneous ramp-up in payments and infrastructure will support this development.” said Christian Sutardi, Co-Founder at Fabelio.

“Fabelio is building a locally relevant furniture brand for a generation of digitally native Indonesians,” said Jessica Liu, Partner at AppWorks. “In just five years, they’ve introduced world-class furniture products that have been adopted by a growing segment of Indonesians and businesses. Their customer-first value shapes a better shopping experience and becomes a category-transforming business. We are excited to join Fabelio on their mission to shape the future of Indonesian’s furniture industry.”

Winston Adi, Head of Investments at MDI Ventures, said, “We are delighted to be part of Fabelio and their stellar leadership team. As businesses are turning digital, it is very important to blur the lines between physical and digital, maintain efficiency with data, and tackle the relevant market with a highly scalable business model to gain the market lead. Fabelio is set in a unique position to check all the boxes as the perfect example to create a digital innovation in the retail industry. We believe with this investment, Fabelio will be able to tap on more business and consumers and have their furniture reachable to every household and business across local and regional markets. MDI will provide continuous support as they continue to bring innovative solutions to the market and execute its long term vision.”

EN Venkat, Partner at Aavishkaar Capital said, “Fabelio has deep networks with artisans and manufacturers from local furniture-making centres in Indonesia. Their tremendous effort in empowering Indonesian Micro-Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the inspiration behind our involvement in their exciting omnichannel furniture business, we look forward to our continued involvement with Fabelio.”

Fabelio’s primary focus for 2020 will be increasing market share through the hiring of key engineering talent, continued online marketing efforts, product development and operational improvements. It is actively seeking regional investors in Southeast Asia and China to conclude its Series C round by end-2020, enabling Fabelio to deliver on its mission of offering high-quality furniture and outstanding customer service, and in doing so, winning the trust of Indonesian customers. “Our end-goal was always to provide a better customer experience. In the two years, we see ourselves as a home & living destination that can provide our customers with all products and services related to their furnishing and interior needs. A significant portion of the funding will be invested in technology, which includes scaling up our current team of 40 engineers.” added Sutardi.

About Fabelio

Fabelio is an Indonesian-based company engaged in furniture and interior design. Founded on June 1, 2015, it provides a wide variety of furniture for living rooms, dining areas, workspaces and bedrooms. Fabelio also offers interior design services for offices and homes, as well as customised kitchen sets and wardrobe services through Fabelio Projects. Aside from selling their products online, Fabelio has 20 experience centres in the Greater Jakarta and Bandung areas, as well as service coverage to almost all areas of Java, Indonesia.

【If you are a founder working on a startup in SEA, or working with AI / Blockchain, apply to AppWorks Accelerator to join the largest founder community in Greater Southeast Asia.】

WeMo Scooter Closes Multi-million Dollar Series A Round Led by AppWorks

Taiwan’s leading e-scooter sharing startup WeMo Scooter announced that it has successfully closed a multi-million dollar Series A funding round led by AppWorks, its first investment into Taiwan’s burgeoning smart mobility sector.

WeMo Scooter will use this round of financing to continue growing its service coverage for riders in key cities across Taiwan, while also laying the seeds for Southeast Asia expansion. Having now recorded millions of successful rides in Taiwan with its proprietary electric vehicle fleet management system, the company is uniquely positioned to help countries across the region accelerate the transition to smart cities.

In support of its international ambitions, the company plans to use the recently raised funds to further grow its “Internet of Vehicles” (IoV) R&D center in Taiwan, which will look to recruit up to 100 hardware and software engineers over the next 3 years. The company will be looking to substantially enhance its R&D capabilities, recruiting talents with experience in not only front-end/back-end development, but also self-driving technology, vehicle telematics, or machine learning—all dedicated to cultivating the latest advancements in connected mobility from the ground up.

Jeffrey Wu, the founder and CEO of WeMo Scooter says “WeMo has the potential to completely revolutionize transportation. At our core, we’re a technology-driven company, with a strong and open engineering culture offering competitive salaries. Our vision is to become the leading Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) provider in Asia, enabling countries across the region to create cleaner, smarter, and more tech-enabled transportation ecosystems of their own. We’re now actively searching for capable talents that can help us achieve that goal.”

WeMo Scooter’s existing IoV technology and experience in big data analytics has been instrumental in creating the most comprehensive and seamless e-scooter sharing network in Taiwan. The company has deployed more than 7,000 e-scooters across Taipei City, New Taipei City, and Kaohsiung City. Its user-friendly app offers convenient features such as digital ID verification and a “quick ride” function, allowing WeMo to quickly scale its operations nationwide, now facilitating roughly 1 million trips per month to both local commuters and international tourists. It’s also the first to introduce various pricing methods to meet rider needs, encompassing per minute and hourly rates, as well as monthly rental plans.

The IoT smart black box integrated in each of its e-scooters was fully developed in-house, and not only helps the company effectively manage its extensive fleet, but also provides valuable operating and environmental data to drive transportation policies and improve rider safety. It can also be embedded into different vehicle types and repurposed for alternative applications such as smart parking or battery management solutions for enterprises.

WeMo Scooter joined AppWorks Accelerator #12 (AW#12) in 2016 in an effort to jumpstart early traction. The company continued to grow and now has additional investments from AppWorks’ funds. Chairman and partner of AppWorks, Jamie Lin says “when the 5G era comes, it will inevitably bring a huge shift to global IoV technologies and industrial development. Since their time in AppWorks Accelerator, WeMo Scooter has demonstrated their strength in R&D technology and smart transportation operations. With our participation in this round, we look forward to not only helping the company solidify its leading position in Taiwan, but also lay the building blocks that will transform WeMo Scooter into a regional and international success story.”

About WeMo Scooter

WeMo Scooter launched in 2016, providing a smarter travel option with an easy to use vehicle sharing service. With the freedom to ride anywhere, anytime, WeMo Scooter’s smart vehicle rental service is the largest and most established in Taiwan. Open around the clock, WeMo’s services can be accessed through the app and rented at multiple public and cooperating parking lots. With live tracking features, 24/7 customer service, and insurance for all users, WeMo takes care of the small things to provide a safe and hassle-free experience for riders.

WeMo Scooter initially established itself in Greater Taipei and later expanded to Kaohsiung in 2019. Each scooter is equipped with an IoT smart black box and multiple data sensors. The data collected can be used in urban transportation reforms such as the road-smoothing project. Smart electric vehicles are able to automatically optimize their services. WeMo is determined to create an innovative rental transportation experience and is committed to leading the industry in Taiwan’s evolution to smart green travel. In 2019, WeMo Scooter launched its IoT smart parking solution, enabling users to enter designated parking lots without the need for cards, cash, or any parking fees. WeMo Scooter also launched the official LINE account service in 2020. Allowing members to register and rent scooters through the LINE app, user experience and day-to-day communications are even more unified.

【If you are a founder working on a startup in SEA, or working with AI / Blockchain, apply to AppWorks Accelerator to join the largest founder community in Greater Southeast Asia.】

台灣新創智慧共享電動機車 WeMo Scooter 宣佈完成 A 輪融資,AppWorks 領投

持續打造領先智慧共享電動機車服務的台灣本土車聯網新創 WeMo Scooter 威摩科技,宣佈完成 A 輪融資,由 AppWorks 之初創投領投,規模達上億元新台幣。

這是 AppWorks 在台灣第一個智慧運輸領域新創投資案,完成本輪融資後, WeMo Scooter 將持續深耕台灣市場,同時啟動海外佈局,將具優勢的電動機車聯網平台經濟營運經驗複製到國際市場,加速台灣廠商佈局全球智慧城市軟硬體供應鏈;即刻啟動車聯網研發中心,並擴大徵才計畫,培育百位以上車聯網軟硬體人才。


成立於 2016 年,WeMo Scooter 以軟、硬體整合研發核心技術,打造亞洲第一個智慧車聯網共享機車服務,運用 App 智慧租借與隨租隨還的便捷模式,在台灣智慧交通領域領先群雄外,更是亞洲共享交通市場的先行者。

WeMo Scooter 提供的共享電動機車服務,營運範圍目前涵蓋台北、新北與高雄市,用戶除一般通勤族更包含國際觀光客,每月可創造近百萬次騎乘次數。為滿足用戶需求,WeMo Scooter 更率先推出有別於傳統分鐘計價的月租與小時短租吃到飽的多元創新計價方式。此外,也開發特約合作停車場供會員免費停車等創新服務,以推動智慧城市生態系。未來 WeMo Scooter 將持續拓展營運範圍及提供智慧出行服務,預計帶動地方交通動能與產業發展。


在台灣成功實現第一階段發展後,WeMo Scooter 將繼續運用經驗展開海外佈局,在全球打造智慧城市生活圈:輸出智慧車聯網交通移動解決方案。

WeMo Scooter 利用獨家研發的車聯網智慧控制盒,結合不同交通運具並應用於車隊管理系統平台、智慧停車解決方案與充電管理系統上,WeMo Scooter 將以這幾大應用面向加速發展全球化佈局與海外 B2B 市場。

此外,WeMo Scooter 所有車輛皆裝載多種感測器,將致用於蒐集環境大數據,並應用在建立交通政策模型,進而提升並優化城市智慧化,成為智慧城市發展的最佳夥伴,並持續將車聯網、大數據應用的技術,融入國際智慧城市的生態圈。

WeMo Scooter 創辦人吳昕霈:台灣可以成為全球 MaaS 服務領先者

WeMo Scooter 創辦人暨執行長吳昕霈表示:「WeMo Scooter 擁有改變智慧交通的關鍵技術,不僅可用於共享電動機車,也將與地方政府及硬體廠商共同合作,運用車聯網、大數據搜集等技術,成為提供交通運輸行動服務 (MaaS) 的領先者。」

因應未來重大發展計畫,人才將是 WeMo Scooter 最重要的成長引擎。執行長吳昕霈擁有麥肯錫顧問國際專業經理人視野,共同創辦人暨科技長鄭捷則在智慧車聯網通訊領域累積多年經驗,兩人共同引領 WeMo Scooter 台灣團隊,在科技與物流產業國際經理人團隊奠定的基礎下,期望結合台灣豐沛的軟硬體人才資源,邁向國際市場。


為達成擴大台灣市場與海外佈局營運目標,WeMo Scooter 同時宣佈,將即刻啟動車聯網研發中心,並擴大徵才計畫,預計 3 年內培植上百位海內、外車聯網軟硬體科技人才;引領台灣在車聯網技術研發深耕與國際產業鏈投資佈局。

WeMo Scooter 於 2016 年加入 AppWorks Accelerator #12 (AW#12) 創業加速器,畢業後持續成長,如今則進一步取得 AppWorks Funds 投資。AppWorks 董事長暨合夥人林之晨表示:「當 5G 時代來臨,勢必為全球車聯網科技與產業發展帶來巨大的典範轉移,從 AppWorks Accelerator 時期,WeMo Scooter 就展現車聯網科技研發與智慧交通營運的實力。現在完成重要的 A 輪募資,計畫啟動國際拓展,優秀、有企圖心的人才,可以在此刻加入 WeMo Scooter,親身參與打造一個區域級、國際級的成功故事。」

【歡迎所有 AI / IoT、Blockchain、佈局東南亞的創業者,加入專為你們服務的 AppWorks Accelerator

HK Marketing Automation Startup Omnichat Moves Into Taiwan and GSEA With US$800K Seed Round Led by AppWorks

Hong Kong-based Alan Chan (left) and Lewis Pong (right) grew conversion rates for e-commerce clients 10x using their proprietary marketing automation software platform, Omnichat. They today announced a US$800k seed round led by AppWorks Ventures.

Hong Kong-based e-commerce messaging platform startup Omnichat today announced it has completed a seed round of US $800,000 (NT$ 24 million), led by AppWorks and other investors including the Aria Group.

Omnichat’s automated cross-platform marketing and customer relations management bots have helped its online merchant customers convert customers by up to 10 times typical rates during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The seed funds will go towards customer acquisition and expansion in Taiwan, a US$42 billion a year digital economy, and prepare the startup for further expansion in Greater Southeast Asia marketing by moving into Singapore and Malaysia in 2021. Echoing tech developments in 2003, when the spread of SARS boosted the expansion of e-commerce in China and other parts of Asia, Omnichat’s rapid delivery of e-commerce solutions is helping online merchants survive radical pressure on business and stand out as leaders in a fast-growing regional digital economy. 

“Omnichat has an excellent team. They have built marketing automation technologies for online merchants based on their own experience selling things online. That is why their product became so popular so quickly.”Jamie Lin, Chairman and Partner of AppWorks, said. 

Omnichat has brought significant performance growth to e-commerce customers since its inception. The Hong Kong startup has recently worked with well-known Taiwanese e-commerce brands including HH Herbal, TOYSELECT, and international brands like Moët Hennessy. Conversions brought about by the use of an automatic shopping guide produces rates 5 to 10 times the average. 

Across its range of customers, conversion rates using Omnichat platform services are on average three to 7 times higher than those in the overall e-commerce industry. 

During February, two Taiwanese e-commerce merchants selling cosmetics and women’s health care products faced huge spikes in demand for COVID-19-related prevention products. These customer service messages on their websites and social platforms increased by 180% and 250%, respectively. Using Omnichat platform software, these partners were able to fluidly handle these spikes and understand customer motivation and needs through online chat, and quickly convert these interactions into sales.

Omnichat specializes in assisting e-commerce customers through cross-platform marketing, including obtaining lists from Facebook and websites, tracking customer browsing behavior, automatic shopping guides on the website, and Facebook / LINE / WhatsApp retargeting after leaving the site. The startup has a customer service system developed in-house that integrates websites, LINE, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp customers for clients, turning active community management into higher sales conversion rates.

Developed in Hong Kong, Omnichat is making its mark in Taiwan

Omnichat’s entrepreneurial pursuit comes from the pain points experienced by Hong Kong-born co-founder Alan Chan. In the process of setting up an e-commerce website in Hong Kong, he often found that he could not respond to customers’ inquiries on the website immediately, which led to the regret of missing the order. In 2017, he invested in the development of “real-time website customer service” technology and began his path in software entrepreneurship. 

In 2018, Alan Chan came to Taiwan to join AppWorks Accelerator and became an alumnus of AW #16. With the help of AppWorks, Omnichat has successfully carried out in-depth technical cooperation with a number of store opening platforms: including 91APP, WACA, EasyStore, and Cyberbiz (AW#14). 

All of these early customers have continued technical cooperation with Omnichat, such as membership profile linking, LINE / Messenger / WhatsApp order notification bots, and other functions. 

Alan Chan pointed out his reasons for being optimistic about Taiwan: “Taiwan’s e-commerce culture is popular and its development is very mature. Even small e-commerce companies attach great importance to indicators such as traffic, data analysis, membership management, and marketing conversion rate. They are very much in-line with Omnichat’s characteristics and simple software installation. Omnichat is very suitable for promotion to e-commerce companies,” he said. 

By the end of 2019, Omnichat had 3,600 new customers, of which more than 70% were from Taiwan, a number three times the new customers secured in Hong Kong. 

Omnichat is expected to expand and integrate new communication platforms such as WeChat and Telegram in 2020. Omnichat will launch an “Affiliate Program” in 2020, inviting digital marketing-related companies, agencies, and consultants to collaborate on building more mature and innovative e-commerce industry applications for business.

Hong Kong startup exports its Taiwan market experience to Greater Southeast Asia

The Omnichat growth story highlights an emerging trend in Taiwan and Hong Kong e-commerce and other new ventures. Companies that originate in Hong Kong and SEA are moving to Taiwan to take advantage of the country’s digital economy and to use that experience as a stepping stone into GSEA.

According to statistics, the scale of Taiwan’s e-commerce market has reached US $42.7 billion, and it is the leader in GSEA. It is double the US $21 billion of Indonesia, often considered the leading player in the regional market. Startups from all over the region have come to Taiwan to build out their digital capabilities and use it as a launching pad for pushing further into the region and opening new markets. 

Building on its early success, Omnichat will continue to cultivate the Taiwan market in 2020, and aims to expand into Singapore and Malaysia in 2021. 

Every six months, we recruit talented AI and Blockchain startup founders in Greater Southeast Asia to join our Accelerator. If you would like to join us in our 21st class, follow updates at our AppWorks Accelerator page.