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Female Daily Network Takes in Angel Investment to Expand E-Commerce Site

Aulia Masna - 21 December 2011

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On Wednesday, DailySocial spent some time talking to Affi Assegaf and Hanifa Ambadar of Female Daily Network about its recent funding from an undisclosed angel investor as well as its future direction.

Despite the similarity in the name, DailySocial and Female Daily are not related. Female Daily Network began in 2005 as a casual blog about fashion and later grew to become an established online destination for Indonesian women who wish to read and discuss about female related issues.

Currently Female Daily houses three media outlets, Fashionese Daily, Mommies Daily, and Pops Daily as well as an exclusive forum for women in which Market Plaza is a popular marketplace. Female Daily Network had always been a self-funded venture that eventually managed to draw enough number of partners and advertisers including major fashion brands such as GAP, Mango, and Metro Department Store, make ups such as Estée Lauder group and L’Oreal group, and even brands such as Nokia, Samsung, and Mazda.

Similar to what Kaskus plans to do with its Forum Jual Beli, Female Daily intends to spin off its Market Plaza into a fully fledged e-commerce site out of the forum and into its own presence. The difference is, Market Plaza had for a while been a paid-for trading venue in which sellers are carefully selected based on their reputation and time spent on the forum and a small but fixed amount is charged by the company as rent.

Moving forward, Market Plaza is intended to become a more open trading venue for forum goers, product resellers as well as established brands and it will be available for anyone who wish to shop. To develop this further, the founders embarked on a mission to seek outside funding.

Ambadar said that seeking funding had been an exercise in discovering the investment scene in the country. A number of venture capitals, or those claiming to be venture capitals, that they’ve had discussions with did not sit right with what they had planned to do. Some had failed in due diligence, others had shady backgrounds, but the most common traits among them had been something that we have come across from discussing with a number of other startups as well.

Many of these investors demanded a controlling stake or role in the company. It’s one thing to be an advisor or board member, but it’s entirely a different thing when a single investor tries to steer the company’s direction.

Assegaf said, “We eventually settled with an angel investor who happened to be a long time member of the forum. She had been seeking an opportunity outside her traditional investments and wanted something that she is more passionate about.”

“Even though we had known her for a while, since we had gone through a number of venture capitals we still went ahead with the pitch and background checks as we did with other potential investors. It seemed the right thing to do and we wanted everything to be done professionally. In the end, we ended up receiving more than what we had planned for,” Assegaf continued.

Both Assegaf and Ambadar had been reluctant to state who the investor is or how much funding that they have won, only that it is going to be disbursed in stages. They had also refrained from disclosing any other details regarding the investment.

At the moment Female Daily has 30 thousand members in the forum with 100 thousand uniques a month generating 1.5 million monthly page views. Fashionese Daily takes in around 50 thousand uniques a month while Mommies Daily pulls in 28,500 visitors a month.

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