Indonesian halal e-commerce platform Muslimarket has secured a Series A funding which places the valuation of the company at around US$10 million. The capital was provided by 500 Startups, a local investment firm, and a few undisclosed individual investors.
Launched two years ago, Muslimarket is one of the upcoming players in the online retail space of Indonesia – selling Muslim clothing for men, women, and children. The platform targets Indonesian Muslim by forging a bond between their shopping experience and religious beliefs.
But unlike Hijup and Berrybenka‘s Hijabenka which also target the same demographic and merchandise, Muslimarket does not only focus on a single market for Muslims. Instead, it aims to become a one-stop online shopping experience for Muslims – providing all their needs, from halal-certified home appliances to beauty products.
The platform even sells Muslim holy products such as Kurban which refers to the animal meat used during holy sacrifices.
Muslimarket is not just about shopping either. Customers can also make Sharia-compliant donations on the platform which will be distributed to authorized Islamic foundations and agencies such as the National Zakat Agency (Banzas) and Dompet Dhuafa (Wallet for the Poor).
The online marketplace was founded by Riel Tasmaya and Ben Soebiakto which are also the founders of a boutique investment bank and media network company respectively. The two co-founders started Muslimarket in June 2015 and have remained to be the biggest shareholders.
With the latest capital, the company plans to invest in promotion, marketing, and expansion, as well as their next stage of growth – SUQMA.
That is, the company’s own private label brand of a Muslim fashion line which is slated for release in the next Islamic holy month Ramadan, around late May.
“We want our brand SUQMA to become the H&M and Zara for Muslim fashion wear,” said Riel. To promote this new brand, Muslimarket plans to include an O20 element by setting up two retail outlets in Jakarta as well as hosting bazaars, pop-up stores, and roadshows.
Muslimarket hopes its new strategy of offline business focus would give it a competitive edge.
“Indonesia is still a major offline market, where people want to touch and feel the products,” said Riel. “We want to launch a brand in retail stores and gain more margin. While online will help us grow organically, offline presence will help us push our sales higher. We need to go after customers and not wait for customers to come after you.”
Indonesian cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, and Makassar are currently the platform’s biggest source of traffic. But Muslimarket is also looking forward to enter the United Kingdom, Turkey, and South Africa in the next few years.
By Vivian Foo, VCNewsNetwork