Taking ecommerce to the next level in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
Role: Co-founder, CEO
What drew you to this particular problem that chatbiz is solving?
150M people use Whatsapp everyday in Indonesia. Before they make a purchase, many people will go to Whatsapp and see what other people are saying about the business. Conversations and word of mouth are deeply rooted in every aspect of our culture here. The idea behind chatbiz is to easily integrate conversations into shopping.
Is there a specific source of inspiration that keeps you pushing through tougher moments?
There are so many challenges and always so many things going on as a founder but the impact chatbiz can and already is making on the small business economy here keeps me going. Small and medium sized businesses account for 95% of employment in Indonesia – they’re our lifeblood. Some of my family, some of my friends sustain themselves by running SMBs.
I want chatbiz to take that entire economy to the next level; I have this dream of leading a technological revolution here that will help as many small businesses as possible.
How did you meet your co-founder, Kenny, & how do you complement each other?
I met Kenny during a company partnership project. He was still working at Qiscus at the time but was really excited by the idea for chatbiz so decided to join me.
We’re quite like yin and yang ahaha. He’s really good at connecting with and communicating with people – he can become friends with anyone. I consider myself a generalist but am more on the technical / product / analytical side of things in our partnership.
What was it like to get into YC and what was the experience like?
It was amazing. For me, it was especially exciting to meet people internationally – I’ve never traveled outside of Indonesia except for a 2-week summer programme at National University of Singapore. Of course, getting every type of support and incredible mentorship was also amazing.
I think I was unsure what to expect with the program being remote and, honestly, had somewhat low expectations. But it was still so useful and I’m now very grateful that it was virtual so I didn’t have to worry about time differences haha.
What’s been the most exciting milestone you’ve hit as a team?
Post-YC, we’ve hit 7,000 in ARR with 50% MoM growth. We’re also partnered with the Indonesian Ministry of Small Business, which is really exciting.
What has been your biggest misstep so far and what did you learn from that moment?
We actually initially created an API for a different platform to begin with. But we quickly realized only young people and college students were using the platform. We grew quickly but our retention was bad. We just hadn’t done enough research before launching.. But luckily we’ve iterated since then and have had much more success on WhatsApp.
What’s a song or album that’s gotten you through 2020?
My favorite song changes every week! But recently I’ve been listening to The Show by Lenka, an Australian artist.
Favorite emoji or gif?
The party emoji 🎉