Bobobox Secures Series A Funding Worth 170 Billion Rupiah
Led by Horizon Ventures and the previous investor Alpha JWC Ventures
Randi Eka - 22 May 2020
Bobobox, known as a startup of capsule hotel accommodation service, recently announced Series A funding worth of US$ 11.5 million or equivalent to 170 billion Rupiah. This round was led by Horizons Ventures with the previous investor, Alpha JWC Ventures. It is with participation of some investors, including Cocoa Investments, Sequoia Surge, and Mallorca Investment.
Prior to this, Bobobox's pre series A began in March 2019, it was involving Alpha JWC Ventures, Genesia Ventures, and three other investors. Later, in May 2019, the Bandung based startup returned to get funding from Sequoia Capital India (Surge), Agaeti Ventures, Everhaus, Alpha JWC Ventures, and Ganesia Ventures.
With this additional capital fund, the company will focus on developing features to improve the experience of using pods (call for lodging capsules). In addition, they also plan to strengthen teams in manufacturing and operations, plus expansion to several other countries in Southeast Asia after the Covid-19 pandemic ends.
This round becomes quite unique, as the Covid-19 outbreak happened, many players in the accommodation and tourism industries have collapsed, some are shutting down the business. Bobobox's Co-Founder & CEO Indra Gunawan said, "We are grateful and proud to still be able to obtain funding from global investors amid the crisis due to the Covid-19 outbreak. I believe this is part of the result from our discipline in maintaining our unit economics in all branches."
In the past year, Bobobox has established six new locations in three cities: Bandung, Jakarta, and Semarang. To date, they operate eight locations with a total of 572 pods and occupancy rates of 80-90% before the pandemic. After the pandemic it is significantly dropped to 50-60%.
"In my opinion, another factor behind investor's trust in Bobobox is the unique selling proposition that allows us to be prepared for the crisis and behavioral changes that arise from this pandemic, even before we know this will happen. It will benefit us later when technology-based accommodation becomes an industry demand," he added.
Alternative lodging during pandemic
It is stated in the release, the Covid-19 pandemic also opened up new opportunities. As the tourism industry slows down, local residents become new customers of the Bobobox pods. In order to meet consumer demand and maintain the safety of its staff and customers, Bobobox implements preventive measures, including limiting the number of entrants and closing public gathering spaces.
"With additional preventive measures, many local residents have chosen to relocate to our pods to support their work-from-home needs. Some of them choose the closest Bobobox from their office to avoid long travel and the crowds, all to reduce the risk of exposure to Covid-19," Bobobox's Co-Founder & President, Antonius Bong explained.
Previously, in collaboration with the Li Ka Shing Foundation, Bobobox also donated 100 sleeping pods to Covid-19 referral hospitals in DKI Jakarta and West Java. It is to be used as a resting place for medical staff during their breaks.
"The crisis shows the true state of the company and how strong their business and revenue framework is. The crisis finally shows which companies are really solid. With satisfactory performance and growth since we first invested in Bobobox in 2018, we believe Bobobox will not only be able to overcome the current shocks but will be a leading player in the regional tourism industry," Alpha JWC Ventures' Managing Partner, Chandra Tjan said.
– Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian