CyberAgent-backed Seekmi to raise series A+ this year, says CEO Clarissa Leung

Indonesia’s on-demand service provider Seekmi will be “aggressively” looking for funding this year, CEO Clarissa Leung told this portal. The CyberAgent Ventures-backed startup will begin fundraising process soon, and kick-off the process with discussions with existing investors about possible follow-up investments.

“This year we are going to be fundraising in the series A+ kind of stage. We haven’t yet talked to potential investors, but will soon discuss with existing ones. All I know is that they are very happy with the progress of Seekmi,” Leung said.

Last year, Seekmi said it had raised a “seven-digit” cash in a round led by CyberAgent with participation from Ventek Ventures, Convergence Ventures, Kinara, Grupara, and Balancop. Leung was reluctant to reveal the valuation of Seekmi after the round, but said that her company was now “multi-million valued”.

Leung, along with her partners, started Seekmi in 2015 by launching a beta version of service providers marketplace aimed to help match service seekers and providers in a wide range of sectors. The initial model provided a wide range of services, from technicians, electricians and painters to sports and language tutors, even health, beauty and fitness consultants that users could choose from.

But late last year, Leung decided to tweak the business. The marketplace now became on-demand. The wide range of services, now narrowed down into three: cleaning, laundry, and AC repairs. Surprisingly, the decision had nothing to do with an evaluation of profitability or scaleability.

“I just wanted to create a product that I myself would use. I looked at the data and the customer surveys. I reflected on my experience and my friends’ experience using the platform, and also from my experience using services like Uber and all that, and I just realized that I wanted to make it as easy as possible for customers to find service providers,” Leung explained.

The change came with its pros and cons. For one, it can’t offer as many different services as it used to be.

“But the plus side is that every time we send a technician we can have the assurance that the job will be done properly with a fixed price. The customers can get a service provider at any given time, and will be guaranteed high standards every time.”

Currently, Seekmi has over 10,000 technicians with more than 100,000 users. Bookings per day now is still below 1,000, Leung said, but she is confident that it will hit that level soon. As a company, Seekmi is still focusing on growing, rather than breaking even, she added.

Leung said growth will be supported by a number of new technological features the company is planning to add. The company also has plans to expand its services into two more cities outside of Jakarta. However, what’s most important for Seekmi is to provide “the best service possible to customers at an affordable price”.

In Indonesia, similar startups are beginning to gain popularity among the large, young middle class. Among Seekmi’s rivals are Beres, Sejasa, Carijasa, Monolia, and Ahlijasa. Even ride-hailing app Go-Jek has now established itself as a service provider, among many other services it offers.

“Go-Jek is a great company, with founders I really respect. I care more about the quality of services, and I hope that will give me a competitive advantage. We believe we can win the battle by providing the highest quality of services,” Leung said.

Competition is set to get fiercer in the future, when internet penetration rises and adopting technology becomes more common among Indonesians.

“We’re now growing the pie together but there will be a point where we’re gonna fight for certain pie size. But at the moment competition is good,” Leung added.

Does Leung see a chance to become a unicorn? Leung stated that as a CEO, her biggest concern is to provide shareholders the biggest value.

“I don’t necessarily aim to be a unicorn, right now I’m just focusing on how to increase value, but if I see a potential I definitely will work towards that. I mean, I do see the potential but I want to focus with what’s in front of me right now,” she said.


Original article here by Deal Street Asia

Attributed to Antonia Timmerman

Disclaimer: Seekmi is a portfolio company of Convergence Ventures