Published: 03 Nov 2021

B2B startup marketplace for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) Ula recently received funding from an investment firm owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Not only that, Tencent also participated.

Startup Ula itself has only been present for 20 months in Indonesia, or operating during the Covid-19 pandemic. But the company claims the business grew 230 times. Ula now offers more than 6,000 products and attracts more than 70,000 stalls. Ula also has teams spread across three countries (katadata.co.id).

Ula competes with a number of other technology startups that also offer solutions for stocking merchandise at traditional food stalls and grocery stores. A number of business actors become competitors, including, Mitra Bukalapak, GudangAda, Mitra Tokopedia, and Warung Pintar.

Based on the official website, Ula provides three services, namely:

  1. Business to business (B2B) market workshops: providing products at competitively claimed prices.
  2. Community-based sales program.
  3. Ula Point: offers MSME players or anyone else to take advantage of the empty space they have as a pickup point for goods ordered by Ula customers and make extra money

Ula mission is to empower 63 million MSMEs in Indonesia with digital technology. This is one of the biggest opportunities in Southeast Asia considering that MSMEs contribute more than 60% to Indonesia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (katadata.co.id).

At the beginning of its development, Ula targeted small cities (tier 2 and 3) located in the East Java area. Ula himself initially conducted a private beta (limited opening) which began in the city of Surabaya in the first quarter of 2020.

Currently, the distribution of Ula's reach in East Java has covered the areas of Surabaya, Malang, Sidoarjo, Mojokerto and Gresik. Its service coverage has covered a portion of the Semarang area in October 2021, and it is certain that it will reach a wider area of ??Central Java, before entering West Java.

Ula does not charge any fees for grocery stalls that join as partners. Its monetization efforts are obtained from transaction commissions and price differences from principal companies (main producers of goods) which are distributed to partners of warungs and grocery stores on its platform (id.techinasia.com). (Ruhmaya Nida Wathoni. Infotable: techcruch.com)