Astro Launches New Wave of Q-Commerce
Astro, an emerging Indonesian start-up company, received an injection with a whopping total of US$4.5 million for its initial funding from several investors such as Global Founders Capital, AC Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Goodwater Capital. CEO and Co-Founder of the on-demand groceries company, Vincent Tjendra, stated that the cash injection is parallel with the company’s focus to develop a platform where customers can meet their needs quickly, safely, and efficiently. Furthermore, The funding received by Astro will be used towards strengthening the technology team, running the operations, and expanding its business scope to several areas in the Special Capital District of Jakarta. Melvin Hade, Global Founders Capital (GFC) partner, robustly believes that Astro’s quick commerce service can change the way Indonesian consumers purchase basic necessities and day-to-day essentials.
PT Astro Technologies Indonesia offers a quick commerce service that markets 1,000 daily necessities such as snacks, vegetables, fresh fruits, and OTC medicines with a guaranteed 15 minutes delivery time. Quick commerce, often called Q-commerce, is substantially the next level of e-commerce with an improved system that prioritizes time efficiency. As of November 2021, Astro is currently opened for limited service in Senayan, Permata Hijau, Gandaria, Kuningan, SCBD, Kemang, Cilandak, Cipete, Puri Indah, Kebon Jeruk, Kelapa Gading, and PIK. This service is expected to expand to all of Jakarta and parts of Jabodetabek by December 2021. Vincent Tjandra, CEO & Co-Founder Astro ensures on (11/2) that the company is committed to maintaining customers' satisfaction and scaling up operational areas as soon as possible. From the global perspective, investors from around the globe have poured billions of dollars into these new coming on-demand grocery delivery firms. For instance, an India-based grocery delivery venture start-up, Zepto, promises to deliver within 10 minutes, has raised US$60 million from investors such as Glade Brook Capital, Nexus, and Y Combinator.
Despite its rising popularity, the quick commerce industry still has room for growth due to its concentrated penetration in big cities like Jakarta, New Delhi, and Shanghai. According to a report from Statista, the online grocery market share in Indonesia only reached 0.3% in 2020. Experts predict the number is bound to increase by 20 basis points to 0.5% in 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic that hit the country is one of the primary factors that triggered the popularity growth of online grocery services among consumers. The major takeaways from these new entrants are speed, diversity of goods, and accessibility. The customer experience will be critical to the survival of businesses, significantly as the industry gets oversaturated with new entrants and retail alliances. On the one hand, this could mean more promotions and competitive pricing, which will increase consumer power. Unfortunately, as the digital grocery delivery market is becoming more crowded, it can create a wave of consolidation within the industry. CEO of Ocado Solution, Luke Jensen, said that the amount of money being put against this opportunity is disproportionate to the size of the opportunity. He suspects there will be a lot of consolidation among these players. In spite of the high growth with each company and assistance from VCs and investors, the quick commerce market is still premature. Therefore, it cannot be concluded that this industry will have a 'stickiness' effect on consumers yet.