Philippines technology startup Packworks said Thursday it has raised $2 million seed round to launch mobile enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform for 150,000+ Sari-Sari store-partners in the Philippines.

The seed round is led by leading end-to-end logistics group Fast Group and global private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, with participation from ADB Ventures, Arise, Techstars, and IdeaSpace Foundation, Packworks said in a statement.

According to the statement, Packworks will use the fund to develop The Pack: SuperStore App, increase the breadth of offerings, and improve its user journey.

It also plans to build a department that directly engages the sari-sari stores and provide additional services with partners, and build an open platform for financial institutions and brands to connect directly with store owners.

“We bootstrapped our way to helping 150,000 sari-sari stores. We’re helping communities all over the Philippines to grow and become more resilient. Imagine how many more we can help with all these awesome partners. Our vision is now global,” said Ibba Bernardo, co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Packworks said.

“We think of ourselves as the railway or expressway infrastructure and not as the gas station or fast food shop operator. We expand partnerships to provide these services to our stores, such as inventory financing, e-payments, and micro-insurance,” he added.

Packworks is a startup company that provides a business-to-business (B2B) platform that is easy to use, has low bandwidth, and light footprint that will allow sari-sari store owners to become more efficient in managing their business.

The firm started out as a solution for multinational companies in the Philippines to connect with neighborhood stores in 2018. By 2019, the Packworks rolled out nationwide with only 220 stores with a gross merchandise value (GMV) of $400,000. After a year, it gathered 27,828 stores with GMV of $30 million, and it reached 130,000 stores with GMV of $139 million in 2021.

“We have raised funds to help us expand our talent pool and boost our bandwidth to provide more to these store owners. We believe that our product offers an excellent upside,” said Bing Tan, co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Packworks.

With initial five sari-sari store-partners, Packworks worked on its way to having a 150,000 network nationwide and targeting to have 220,000 stores by the end of 2022 and 500,000 by end of 2023.

The firm aims to become a platform for other institutions that would like to help the base of the pyramid by addressing the sari-sari store challenge by enabling the value chain and empowering all the involved parties within the sari-sari ecosystem.

“At Fast, we constantly search for ways to improve our country’s supply chain. The over 1 million sari-sari stores in the Philippines are a critical component of this chain, and we believe that an immense opportunity exists to build a digital layer to connect these stores with customers and suppliers,

“Layering Packworks’ digital fabric to this network and leveraging its emerging data has exciting prospects for creating supply chain efficiencies, especially when combined with the experience and national scale of Fast. We are happy to partner with Bing, Ibba, Hubert and the dedicated team at Packworks to empower more micro-entrepreneurs and transform the way they do commerce,” said Brice Cu, Senior Managing Director and Country Head of Philippines for CVC Capital Partners and Board Member of Fast Group.

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