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Daily Markup #499: Dagangan delivers economic equality to rural areas; Bukalapak spurs positive growth; Aliena puts Singapore on the map for spacetech

Ching Yee Ho



Credit: Koran Tempo

Delivering equality & better welfare to communities

  • “Improving the welfare of the community has been our focus in running the businesses. Therefore, we make sure that everything we do creates a positive impact on society,” said Maha Willy Chandra, Co-founder & CEO of 500-backed Dagangan. “‘Sustainability’ is the right word to describe what Dagangan has been doing so far.”
  • The startup manages micro-warehouses scattered across remote areas in Indonesia with the aim of accelerating regional economic equality. Retail buyers, warung owners, and MSME entrepreneurs get access to high-quality products.
  • What’s more? They can sell these products through their platforms at an affordable price, thanks to Dagangan’s hub-and-spoke operational model that enables efficient distribution.
  • Today, it has reached over 8,000 villages and more than 25,000 communities. And the warung owners? Their income has gone up by 60%.
  • Read the full story here.

Credit: Reuters

Big numbers for small businesses

  • Another 500-backed Indonesian company, Bukalapak, has also found success in prioritizing underserved communities. It announced revenue growth of 86% in Q1 this year hitting US$54.4M.
  • What’s driving this growth is Mitra Bukalapak, the arm that serves mom-and-pop kiosks known as warung. Mitra’s revenue was up a massive 227% year-on-year, contributing 60% to the company’s overall revenue. Just one year ago, this number was 34%.
  • Much of its transactions come from outside Tier-1 cities. Bukalapak said it continues to see strong growth in all-commerce and digitization from offline micro-retail stores.
  • Get the full announcement on TechNode Global.

Credit: A Magazine Singapore

Going small to go big

  • Some thought it was a premature mid-life crisis. Mark Lim stuck to his guns and left a stable, decent-paying job as a physics educator and co-founded a spacetech startup in Singapore.
  • 500-backed Aliena most recently made headlines for putting a thruster on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. However, Mark also aims to address challenges closer to home. He wants to democratize space access for terrestrial businesses in sectors like defence, maritime, and aviation.
  • Aliena does this by developing smaller satellites that operate in very low earth orbit (VLEO), allowing for higher resolution images compared to those from satellites that operate at higher altitudes.
  • The startup is currently working on its first locally-produced satellite, which comprises a propulsion system created completely in-house and expected to launch in 2024. This will be the very first Singaporean satellite in the VLEO.
  • Read the full article here.

Ching Yee Ho