Meet the e27 Luminaries startups that are making life easier through tech in these emerging markets

Launching a company in an emerging market can be extremely beneficial.

Many opportunities in these markets arise out of necessity, or the drive to solve a need or a social problem. Further accelerated by COVID-19, the adoption of digital technology has now become an imperative rather than simply a choice in markets where previously large populations had little access to tech.

Thus, these markets offer huge opportunities for disruptive technology. In fact, according to the World Bank. growth in South Asian countries between 2013 and 2016 increased from 6.2 per cent to 7.5 per cent while growth rates of other developing nations remained flat and sometimes even turned negative.

While the economic potential of South Asian countries continues to flourish, e27 celebrates the 19 startups and their nominees that are solving problems in emerging markets via its Luminaries list.

The information in this article has been acquired from the e27 Startup Database and other platforms including Tracxn, Crunchbase, and LinkedIn.

Here are the startups:

Ayannah (Philippines)

A fintech startup that aims to provide digital financial services to the middle-class in emerging markets. Its services are available for both local Filipino users and those living abroad.

Its two main platforms are Sendah and Sendah Direct. Sendah is a B2C platform that allows overseas Filipinos to send mobile top-ups, electronic vouchers as well as physical goods. While Sendah Direct is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that partners with brick-and-mortar retailers to offer services like mobile top-ups, online game credits, and, more recently, domestic remittance.

For e27 Luminaries, Ayannah nominated Marlon Ramirez and credited him for his role in growing the business throughout the pandemic.

Latest funding: US$3.1M

Investors: 500 Startups, Life.SREDA

Team size: 54

Didian (Malaysia)

A digital B2B property marketplace for agents and agencies to source and sell residential projects from Malaysia’s top developers. Through its app, “Didian Agent App”, agents can find their desired projects, can check the unit availability, book a unit, and track a sale’s progress all the way up to the commission stage.

The company nominated Lead Software Engineer Ching Yaw Hao, for developing a product that enables property agents to sell online during the pandemic.

Latest funding: Self-funded

Team size: 16

Expedock (the Philippines)

An AI-powered automation service that powers back-offices for businesses in cross-border container trade to revolutionise the workflow of businesses in the supply chain. It claims to help clients generate savings of up to 90 per cent by eliminating all data extraction and data entry work for airway bills, bills of ladings, invoices, whilst decreasing turnaround time by up to 10x.

The company named Chief Product Officer Jig Young as nominee for developing a product that has gained the attention of both investors and customers.

Latest funding: US$4M

Investors of latest round: Ali Partovi, eBay, Salesforce, LinkedIn, and Instagram

Team size: 20+

Finantier (Indonesia)

An Indonesia-based fintech startup that uses Open Finance API platform to provide infrastructure and data products with financial institutions to create “seamless and personalised” experiences for consumers, who can benefit from their data. The startup is currently still in its beta phase and is also a part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2021 startup batch.

The company nominated Senior Engineering Manager Victor Oloan for building the Finantier platform from scratch in the midst of a pandemic.

Latest funding: Pre-seed undisclosed

Also Read: Meet the 4 Luminaries startups that made a pivot to tide over COVID-19 crisis

Investors of latest round: East Ventures, AC Ventures, Genesia Ventures, Two Culture Capital

Team size: 20+

GajiGesa (Indonesia)

A financial wellness platform that aims to improve the long-term financial health of employees and companies by providing them with financial education, and other financial management tools.

Through its app employees can track their earnings, access their earned wages, and pay bills, among other uses. For employers, the platform allows HR teams to measure the effectiveness of financial well-being strategies and get visibility over engagement, productivity, and employee financial health.

GajiGesa nominated their Country Head for Indonesia market, Ade Yuanda Saragih for e27 Luminaries. Saragih led the company’s operation in Indonesia throughout the challenges of COVID-19.

Latest funding: US$2.5M

Investors of latest round:, Quest Ventures, GK Plug, and Play, Next Billion Ventures, Alto Partners Multi-Family Office, Kanmo Group.

Team size: 20+

Gojek (Indonesia)

Gojek is Indonesia’s super app that was initially started as a motorcycle ride-hailing company but has since expanded to different verticals, like digital payments, food delivery, logistics, and many other on-demand services. It has recently announced its merger with fellow Indonesian unicorn Tokopedia.

Gojek nominated CTO Severan Rault for e27 Luminaries nomination.

Latest funding: US$300M

Investors of latest round: Telkomsel

Team size: 22,000+

GudangAda (Indonesia)

A B2B e-commerce platform for FMCG wholesalers, manufacturers, and retail businesses. Through its platform, traders can connect to meet and transact online with wholesalers and mom-pop retailers of all sizes.

GudangAda named Andre Widjaja, Chief of Business Development, as its nominees for e27 Luminaries. Widjaja built the company’s sales and BD team and prepared it for expansion.

Latest funding: US$25.4M

Investors of latest round: Sequoia India, Alpha JWC Ventures

Team size: 250+

Inavoice (Indonesia)

A one-stop solution for people in the creative industry who want to create their own audiovisual products. In addition to building a platform for voice-over talents which the startup began with, it has also expanded to include background music.

For e27 Luminaries, Inavoice named its admin staff Punto Adhil Dewanto for his crucial role in the process of establishing and running the company.

Latest funding: Unfunded

Investors of latest round: N/A

Team size: 10+

Jala Tech (Indonesia)

Jala Tech is transforming the shrimp industry by offering a vastly improved management system. The goal of the company is to get farmers to make decisions based on actual data. To do that, its system provides water quality monitoring, planning, and reporting tools, complete with a decision support system so that farmers can initiate the right treatment at the right time, based on data that has been collected and analysed.

Jala Tech nominated BD Executive Christine Kombong for her dedication to helping the company’s community of shrimp farmers.

Also Read: Your very first look at e27 Luminaries, the unsung heroes of the SEA startup ecosystem

Latest funding: Undisclosed seed round

Investors of latest round: 500 Startups, Conservation International Ventures, Hatch Accelerator Holding.

Team size: 30+

Koinworks (Indonesia)

Koinworks brings together SMEs and lenders online under a single platform so that the former who have historically been underbanked by traditional financial institutions can borrow easily from the latter. Leveraging machine learning, KoinWorks enables borrowers to access low-interest loans while funders receive better returns.

For e27 Luminaries, KoinWorks nominated its CMO Jonathan Bryan for his success in maintain brand position amidst a challenging time.

Latest funding: US$20M

Investors of latest round: Quona Capital, EV Growth, and Saison Capital.

Team size: 250+

Lozi (Vietnam)

A Vietnamese one-hour-delivery e-commerce startup that delivers food, FMCG, electronics, fashion, cosmetics, laundry, medicine, courier, flower, ride-hailing, and B2B ingredients. The app also has a feature where wherein customers can listen to multiple podcasts while waiting for their delivery.

The company nominated CTO Thinh Ngoc Nguyen for his achievement in leading the team throughout challenging times.

Latest funding: Undisclosed Series C round

Investors of latest round: MetaPlanet Holdings

Team size: 90+

Mosaic Solutions (the Philippines)

The company offers cloud-based management software for F&B and hospitality companies. Its product suite includes data analytics, inventory management, point of sale, and purchasing.

The company nominated Aziel Salve, Director of Client Onboarding, for ensuring continuous growth and clients’ trust during the pandemic.

Latest funding: US$1M

Investors of latest round: Gentree

Team size: 25

MYCL (Indonesia)

A fashion tech startup that cultivates mycelia (a type of fungus) along with sawdust to make a substitute for animal-based leather. Its designed process consumes far less water than the traditional animal-based leather-making processes. The fashion industry is one of the beneficiaries of this sustainable material.

The HR team plays a crucial role in keeping the company’s morale through the challenges of the pandemic. This is why MYCL nominated Jean Rosy Tency, Head of HR, for e27 Luminaries.

Latest funding: US$20,000

Investors of latest round: Kickstarter.

Team size: 25

OVO (Indonesia)

A mobile app payment system that ensures that financial transactions are simple, instant, and secure. The platform provides its users with access to payments, transfers, cash-in/out, rewards, asset management, and investments.

OVO named CEO Jason Thompson as its nominee for e27 Luminaries.

Latest funding: Undisclosed

Investors of latest round: Undisclosed

Team size: 1,400+

Sociolla (Indonesia)

An e-commerce platform for beauty products and a subsidiary of Social Bella, an integrated beauty-tech company that focuses on developing “a scalable and sustainable” online and offline ecosystem for beauty and personal care. One of its major goals is to empower customers to use local brands.

The company has recently expanded to Vietnam, and has nominated Ngoc Phungbich, Chief Business Officer, for e27 Luminaries.

Latest funding: US$58M

Investors of latest round: Temasek, Pavilion Capital, and Jungle Ventures

Team size: 600+

TaniHub (Indonesia)

An agritech startup that focuses on bridging farmers to a wider market. Its business lines include TaniHub (an e-commerce platform for food and agricultural products), TaniFund (a P2P lending platform for farmers), and TaniSupply (a unit that works on improving agricultural supply chain).

TaniHub named Astri Purnamasari, VP Corporate Services, as its nominee for e27 Luminaries. As one of its earliest hires, she has helped establishing company culture.

Latest funding: US$17M

Investors of latest round: Openspace Ventures, Intudo Ventures, UOB Venture Management, Vertex Ventures, BRI Ventures, Tenaya Capital, Golden Gate Ventures.

Team size: 600+

Also Read: The strength within: A closer look at the operations and administration leads of e27 Luminaries

Tokopedia (Indonesia)

An e-commerce giant that aims to build a super ecosystem where anyone can start and discover anything. The company works with various marketplaces, logistics, payments, and financial technology businesses, while also providing more than 500,000 payment points across Indonesia.

Tokopedia nominated Herman Widjaja, SVP & CTO, for e27 Luminaries for his work in building a culture of innovation and teamwork as #OneTokopedia.

Latest funding: US$350M

Investors of latest round: Google, Temasek Holdings

Team size: 5000+

Xendit (Indonesia)

A digital payment infrastructure company that enables businesses to accept digital payments without the need to implement integrations with individual providers. It has since expanded its services to include services such as fraud detection, lending, and tax management.

For leading the team in securing sales during the pandemic, Sujinun Jutakorn, VP of Sales, is named as the company’s e27 Luminaries nominee.

Latest funding: US$64.6M

Investors of latest round: Accel, Y-Combinator

Team size: 300+

Zenius (Indonesia)

Zenius is an edutech startup that targets all education levels, from elementary school to senior high with public university test prep. The cost to subscribe to its online course starts from US$12 to US$46 per month. Zenius is said to already have a library of 80,000 educational videos.

Zenius named its CEO Rohan Monga for e27 Luminaries. Despite being a newcomer in the edutech industry, he has managed to lead the introduction of new products to the market.

Latest funding: Undisclosed Series A

Investors of latest round: N/A

Team size: 400+

Go here, to find out more about Luminaries.

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Image Credit: Afif Kusuma

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,Meet the e27 Luminaries startups that are making life easier through tech in these emerging markets | e27

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