Ula is set to raise additional capital following Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ interest in the Jakarta-based wholesale marketplace.
Verizon Media reported Bezos is in talks to invest in Ula. If he follows through, Bezos will join a group of other investors in what is expected to be a new round of financing of more than $80 million USD.
This development, according to Verizon Media, comes at a time when Amazon has either not entered most Southeast Asian nations or maintains a limited presence there.
The startup uses technology to modernise distribution and credit in traditional retail, while its B2B marketplace provides small retailers competitive pricing and a variety of payment terms. It predominantly services the FMCG and food and vegetables markets but is reported to expand its offering to include apparel and electronics.
Ula’s founding members are Alan Wong (formerly of Amazon), Derry Sakti (formerly of P&G), Nipun Mehra (former Flipkart executive) and Riky Tenggara (formerly of Lazada and aCommerce).
Since January 2020, the startup, with teams in Indonesia, India and Singapore, has provided e-commerce services to more than 20,000 stores.
Tech in Asia said in January 2021 that Ula was expected to grow by $37 billion USD over the next four years.
Earlier this year, Amazon reported a blowout quarter and announced Bezos’ plan to transition within the company.