#Asia Handicraft marketplace Qlapa raises Series A, sold 65K items in less than 2 years


Qlapa has also handled transactions from international buyers for wholesale order


Indonesian marketplace for traditional handicraft Qlapa today announced that it has raised an undisclosed Series A led by India-based impact investor Aavishkaar Frontier Funds (AFF), with participation from existing investors, the founders of Kapan Lagi Networks (KLN).

The round follows an undisclosed seed round the startup has raised in January 2016 from Global Founders Capital (GFC), KLN, and angel investor Budi Setiadharma.

“In our seed round, we were trying to achieve product-market-fit and get initial traction in local handmade and craft market. In the past one-and-a-half year, numbers has supported our thesis in the market potential. We are happy with the progress and with this round of funding, we’ll be able to quickly scale both supply and demand side of our marketplace,” said Qlapa CEO Benny Fajarai.

Run by a team of 35 personnel, the West Jakarta-based startup is also looking forward to “double the number” of its employees and move to a new office space this year.

Founded by Benny Fajarai and Fransiskus Xaverius, Qlapa is a curated marketplace for Indonesian handicrafts products that connects potential buyers to the artists and makers directly. The platform aims to help artists sell items at the “best price” by cutting down distribution chain.

Also Read: Exclusive: India’s Craftsvilla lays off around 100 employees

Within the past one-and-a-half year, Qlapa claimed that it has secured over 4,000 curated artists and makers, and sold 65,000 items in their platform. Some of the most popular items are fashion items and home decoration products such as batik cloths, leather goods, and wooden goods.

In an e-mail to e27, Fajarai shared some interesting findings that the startup has discovered in its users.

“Our products appeal equally well to both men and women, while similar model like Etsy (US) and Craftsvilla (India) appeals to a lot more female audiences,” he wrote.

“Due to the nature of handmade products, which are unique, special, a big percentage of our users buy the products as a gift,” he added.

Though Fajarai will not comment on the startup’s international expansion plan, he said that Qlapa has already handled some transactions coming from international buyers for wholesale order.

“Our customer service reps are helping them manually at the moment,” Fajarai said.

Image Credit: kzenon / 123RF Stock Photo

The post Handicraft marketplace Qlapa raises Series A, sold 65K items in less than 2 years appeared first on e27.

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