Bukalapak co-founders back B2B fintech startup amid funding spree

Init 6, the VC firm led by Bukalapak co-founders Achmad Zaky and Nugroho “Xinuc” Herucahyono, has invested in Monit, an Indonesian B2B fintech startup. The details of the deal were not disclosed, but Monit said it has also raised funding from 1982 Ventures and an unnamed VC, taking its total seed funding to a seven-figure sum.

Monit describes itself as an “integrated experience,” combining payments, expenses, cash, and corporate cards. In a conversation with Tech in Asia, Init 6 likened Monit to US-based giant Brex and expects the Indonesian startup to be a “gamechanger in the B2B fintech sector.”

Zaky, who built Bukalapak from scratch to become an ecommerce unicorn, says he and his team were often left “frustrated” when managing the company’s digital expenses. While corporate credit cards are the ideal solution, they are difficult to obtain for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) – like Bukalapak was in its early days.

“From that experience, we believe that many companies, specifically SMBs, face the same problem,” he says. “Monit can help them become more productive and efficient by providing an all-in-one expense management system, including corporate credit cards for payment.”

Banking services, minus the hassle

Businesses can use Monit to pay for bills, manage reimbursements and disbursements, and issue corporate credit cards. The company was established by Rizki Aditya and Teddy Tjahjadi, who both had stints at startups in the US.

Monit, which mostly targets ecommerce players and tech companies, only started acquiring clients in January. But in order to roll out its corporate credit card offering, the startup has sealed strategic partnership deals with major card networks Mastercard and Visa as well as regional bank issuers CIMB Niaga and United Overseas Bank.

Aside from banks, several startups In Indonesia provide related solutions for businesses. HR platform Mekari, for example, has launched Mekari Pay, which gives companies access to all payment methods via a single digital wallet. Meanwhile, peer-to-peer transfer startup Flip has also tapped into the B2B space, where it simplifies mass disbursement and international fund transfers for companies.

Monit, however, seems to be the only one focusing solely on the banking needs of SMBs.

“Monit is not trying to be a bank, yet we are more than just an accounts payable tool. We see the future as a marketplace where businesses can discover, manage, and use multiple financial instruments – bank transfer, cards, savings, etc. – powered by a single experience,” says Rizki.

The company concedes that it does draw its inspiration from Brex, which grew to a billion-dollar business in just two years and is now valued at over US$12 billion. However, Rizki says the two companies differ in their approach. While Brex encourages businesses to spend more by incentivizing employees with point-based rewards, Monit’s software is designed to help companies spend less, thus enabling them to generate more profit.

The fintech startup will use the proceeds from the seed funding to hire more talent and develop its products. Rizki says the next product will be focused on treasury, so Monit will partner with banks and financial institutions to help companies get an investment return from their idle cash.

(Source: TechinAsia)