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CrediBook gets $1.5 million to help Indonesian retail wholesalers digitize their finances

Catherine Shu
·2-min read
Photo of a retailer in Indonesia, provided by financial bookkeeping startup CrediBook

CrediBook, a startup that helps Indonesian retail wholesalers digitize the financial side of their operations, has raised $1.5 million in pre-Series A funding led by Wavemaker Partners, with participation from Alpha JWC Ventures and Insignia Ventures Partners. The capital will be used for product launches and expansion into more Indonesian cities.

Founded in February 2020, CrediBook is part of a wave of startups focused on digitizing small- to medium-sized businesses in Indonesia. SMEs contribute more than 60% of the country’s gross domestic product, but many still use traditional bookkeeping systems like paper ledgers. Digitizing them makes it easier for them to use services like online invoicing and payments, and keep financial records to apply for working capital loans.

Some other startups serving Indonesian SMEs include BukuKas and BukuWarung, two digital bookkeeping apps for small B2C businesses like neighborhood stores and restaurants (both have also recently raised funding). Moka and Jurnal, meanwhile, are used by larger companies. CrediBook is carving out a niche for itself by serving small-to-medium sized B2B businesses in the retail sector, including wholesalers.

Co-founder and chief executive officer Gabriel Frans told TechCrunch that the company is moving toward a profitable business model and currently has more than 500,000 customers, who use the app for bookkeeping, tracking orders from retailers and digital payments. CrediBook also works with financial services provider PayFazz, one of its seed investors, to provide financing to SMEs.

Frans said CrediBook plans to add more features, including online invoicing, to create an end-to-end platform like Tel Aviv and New York-based B2B payment startups Melio, which announced a round of funding this week that brought its valuation to $1.3 billion. "We are digitizing not only the bookkeeping, but also the invoicing and payment processing," Frans said.

Most of CrediBook's customers are currently concentrated in the cities of Jabodetabek and Bandung, and part of its funding will be used for building its user base in more areas. Frans said many of the startup’s customers relied on paper ledgers before signing up for CrediBook, so part of the process of convincing them to go online includes demonstrating how having more visibility into their finances can grow their businesses.

"We are very close to our users because this is a very localized market," said Frans, who previously worked at O2O platform Kudo (now called GrabKios after its acquisition by Grab in 2017) and bookings platform Traveloka. "I was already familiar with the industry based on my previous experience, and if they try our app and experience the benefit of how it will make their day-to-day problems less, they will love it."