Beenext Leads $3M Series A Round Of Indonesian Restaurant Management Startup Esensi Solusi Buana

Beenext Leads M Series A Round Of Indonesian Restaurant Management Startup Esensi Solusi Buana

Indonesia’s food and beverage (F&B) industry brings in over US$57 billion in annual revenue. However, the industry struggles with losses due to operational inefficiencies from manual inventory planning, disorganized waste management, and fraud, according to restaurant management company Esensi Solusi Buana (ESB).

 “The price of their inventory is increasing and the salary of employees is also increasing. But they cannot increase the sales price at the same percentage as the cost growth. So that’s why this is this industry is suffering from net profit. They keep on losing net profit from year to year,” Guanwan Woen, ESB’s chief executive officer, said.

 The company aims to solve this problem through its software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, which provides a full-stack solution from point-of-sale, enterprise resource planning, mobile ordering system, and digital payment services.

 The SaaS platform helps restaurants with their digital ordering solutions for customers, whether they’re dining in or opting for online deliveries.

 Indonesia-based ESB has just raised US$3 million in a series A funding led by Beenext, along with AC Ventures and Skystar Capital.

 Taking on Grab and Gojek in food delivery

 To help F&B businesses thrive during the Covid-19 lockdown, ESB launched a delivery platform enabling restaurants to do delivery independently and offer contactless dining.

 With this function, restaurants can send out orders without having to incur the commission cost charged by delivery platforms, allowing them to receive more margins per order.

 Within six months of launching, ESB says its platform has generated over 20 million annual orders for customers.

 Woen says restaurant owners kept telling him that the two huge food delivery platforms – Gojek and Grab – are “very predatory” because they take at least 20% of the profit and are further looking to increase that amount to 30% to 35%.

 “The restaurants are kind of working for them instead of doing business because they take a huge chunk of the profit,” the CEO added.

 In contrast, ESB’s delivery platform charges 5% to 10%. Its app connects drivers with restaurants and also allows the option for restaurants to do the delivery by themselves.

 In addition, the company also provides financing services for restaurants by teaming up with lending companies to help them pay their suppliers or get funding required for setting up new outlets.

Building the Alibaba of the F&B industry

 With all the data it collects, ESB is developing its business-to-business marketplace this year. The company’s enterprise resource planning solution gathers information such as what the restaurant is purchasing, how much they paid, and when they last ordered from their suppliers.

 “This is something like Alibaba, but for F&B industry only,” Woen explains.

 Part of ESB’s latest round of funding will be used to onboard suppliers for the B2B supply chain. The company aims to complete the whole features and ecosystem by mid-2021.

 ESB was founded in 2014 by Gunawan Woen, Dwi Prawira, Setiadi Prawiryo, and Eka Prasetya.

 Prior to the company’s launch, Woen worked as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he got a chance to assist restaurants with tax and financial planning. That’s how he realized that there were no providers of an integrated software that could automate this financial process for restaurants.

 Prawira worked as programmer analyst at insurer AIA, while Prawiryo was a director at Karya Digital, an IT service provider. Prasetya founded Karya Digital and owns a restaurant.

 ESB is planning to add artificial intelligence to help identify recurring customers so that restaurants can upsell to them. It’s also looking to build a face recognition feature, which can use a smartphone camera to identify the customers when they order via mobile.

 The company says it currently has 5,000 active paying users. Some of its clients include Boga Group, Ismaya Group, and MAP Boga, which holds the franchise license of Starbucks in Indonesia.

 ESB operates in Indonesia at present, but it’s eyeing expansion in the US and China.

 Moving forward, the company aims to achieve US$10 million in revenue and a valuation of around US100 million by the end of 2021, Woen says.

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