BUSINESS | GrowSari raises $110M to empower MSMEs

GrowSari is a tech-enabled B2B platform that supports small physical retail stores in the Philippines.

Source: GrowSari

B2B E-commerce startup GrowSari has completed a raise of $77.5M as part of its Series C funding, bringing the total funding to around $110M, the largest raise in the B2B and MSME space in the Philippines and amongst the largest in the region.

“We are very grateful for the confidence shown by existing and new investors as we try to transform the MSME space in the Philippines,” said Reymund ‘ER’ Rollan, GrowSari chief executive and co-founder. “Not only will this funding allow us to fuel our growth, but this will also help us bring top global quality talent in Operations, Technology, and Data Science into the startup ecosystem of the Philippines.”

“With this raise, GrowSari has further cemented itself as one of the top Filipino tech companies, combining an experienced international management team with marquee global investors and local strategic partners,” said Paul Santos, the managing partner of Wavemaker, which has backed GrowSari since 2016. “More importantly, this funding recognizes the Filipinos’ capability to excel in the field of entrepreneurship and shine in the startup scene.”

Established in 2016, GrowSari is a tech-enabled B2B platform that supports small physical retail stores in the Philippines including sari-sari stores, carinderias, pharmacies, and other roadside and market shops, with convenient tools to grow and maximize their earnings. Currently, Growsari provides services for telco loading and bills payment, to name a few, so they could provide more comprehensive offerings to local communities. It also equips it with credit that alleviates working capital constraints and enables entrepreneurs to grow their store operations.

“The pandemic has fundamentally changed how business works,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, IFC’s senior vice president, operations. “Businesses that ignore digital technology put themselves at an immediate disadvantage. Our investment would enable Growsari to expand digital adoption and financial services for MSMEs, which is critical to keep them competitive, and for a resilient and inclusive recovery.”

Over the last 12 months, Growsari has expanded rapidly and further into other MSMEs/non-sari-sari store formats nationwide, beyond Luzon and Visayas and soon Mindanao, as well as beyond E-commerce into financial services and logistics.

“We are strategic in choosing investors, and we have deepened our partnership with those who could support this next phase of growth, on core as well as financial services,” Rollan said. “ We remain open to partnering with all other local and international companies as we transform this MSME space.”

Notable existing investors that joined this round of funding included the International Finance Corporation (IFC), KKR, which led the Series C round, and Pavilion Capital of the Temasek Group, along with almost all existing investors. The startup is also in talks for the next round of funding, since there is significant demand from marquee funds.

Growsari plans to leverage funding to accelerate its national expansion. From a base of 1,000 sari-sari stores in three cities back in 2018, Growsari has grown to service more than 100,000 stores in over 220 municipalities across Luzon.

“We have already launched in the Visayas, with Iloilo as the first city, and will launch in Mindanao soon. We also have the largest B2B fulfillment network and will have 50-plus fulfillment centers nationwide,” said Siddhartha Kongara co-founder and chief technology officer. “We are also fast progressing on our vision to use the GrowSari technology stack to help other companies in their logistics and e-commerce journeys. We already have more than 10 traditional companies that are leveraging the platforms to improve their business operations.”


by editors
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