Plugo, a Singapore-headquartered e-commerce platform, has raised $9 million in Series A funding ahead of its planned public launch in 2023.

The round was led by Altos Ventures, along with strong support from BonAngels Venture Partners, Access Ventures, Mahanusa Capital, Prodigy Investment, and Pearl Abyss Capital, Plugo said in a statement.

Proceeds from this round will be used for future product developments and hiring across new divisions as Plugo expands operations.

“We are thrilled to announce this fresh funding round, which demonstrates investors’ confidence in our business,” said Kyungmin Bang, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Plugo.

Plugo’s intuitive design feature enables users to launch their customized online store websites in minutes, with no technical knowledge required.

The firm empowers anyone who wants to start an online business. The platform gives its users greater control, a stronger brand identity, and more scalable pricing over their businesses.

According to the statement, Indonesia’s e-commerce landscape was one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, even during the pandemic-induced economic downturn.

Cited a report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company, it said the country’s digital economy is worth approximately $77 billion this year. The sector, driven primarily by e-commerce, is on track to become a $130 billion digital market by 2025.

“Not only is it a huge and significant number, but there are endless opportunities. Moreover, local businesses have accelerated their adoption of digital technology due to innovation in the e-commerce ecosystem and dynamic changes in consumer behavior,” said Kyungmin

“Over the past decade, the predominant market trend has been business-to-consumer (B2C) or marketplace. Direct-to-consumer (D2C) platforms like Plugo have only recently become a trend for more transparent and efficient business,

“However, I believe we have enormous potential because there is still a lot of room for growth and huge gaps in the market, particularly among micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs),” he added.

According to the statement, for years, the e-commerce ecosystem was such that establishing stores was challenging, and selling was even more so. These factors created an environment where size, experience, and the need for deep pockets discouraged the majority of new merchants.

In addition, existing merchants are concerned about their ability to build a brand for their business in the long run. This is more important than ever in today’s highly saturated market, where new businesses are popping up just about anywhere.

“Our platform is designed to remove those hurdles—we want to democratize e-commerce and make it easier for our merchants to reach for independence,” said Kyungmin.

Plugo was founded this year and has only recently begun rolling out the closed beta version. The company appears to be set on releasing in early 2023 when the platform will be experienced by future users nationwide.

“Plugo offers an unmatched suite of digital capabilities that will transform the future of e-commerce in Indonesia,” said Moon-Suk Oh, Partner at Altos Ventures.

“Plugo’s mission resonates with our own mission of creating significant economic value while also positively contributing to society. We’re delighted to support the company’s vision and growth,” he added.

Charles Rim, Founding and General Partner at Access Ventures, said the firm is very impressed with the experienced team that Kyungmin has assembled.

“We believe the timing is perfect for the birth of Plugo as the e-commerce landscape is experiencing turbulence that will nurture positive disruption, benefiting both aspirational sellers and consumers,” he added.

Plugo is an all-in-one e-commerce platform that empowers anyone who wants to start an online business. It lets users personalize their online stores with personalized website templates, payment, courier integrations, omnichannel, SEO, and marketing tools.

Plugo is entirely cloud-based and hosted, allowing users to access and manage their business from anywhere, at any time, while on the go.

The firm is headquartered in Singapore, with offices in Jakarta and Seoul. It is a global and diverse team with members from various countries and cultural backgrounds.

The developer team, which is located in Seoul, is made up of seasoned developers from various tech industries.

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