GrowSari, a Philippine B2B E-commerce player, has raised US$30 million in funding to date from global marquee investors including China’s Tencent, International Finance Corporation, and the Gokongwei Group.
Founded in 2016, GrowSari is a tech-enabled B2B platform that outfits Philippine sari-sari store owners with inventory, infrastructure, and tools to manage and grow their business while generating crucial data and market insights for manufacturers and distributors.
GrowSari has grown from a base of 1,000 sari-sari stores in three cities in 2018 to more than 50,000 stores in over 100 municipalities across Luzon as of 2020.
As of 2021, it has raised more than $30 million from seed round, Series A, and Series B investors, with Series A investors including Gokongwei-led Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. (RRHI) and JG Digital Equity Ventures, and Wavemaker Partners.
The Series B round includes Pavilion Capital, a Singapore-based investment company focused on Southeast Asian and North Asian economies; Tencent, China’s leading technology company; International Finance Corporation (IFC) a member of the World Bank Group; ICCP SBI Venture Partners; and Singapore-based growth fund Saison Capital.
“GrowSari aims to empower and significantly increase the earnings of sari-sari stores in the Philippines by providing direct access to a wide assortment of affordable products, e-businesses, and financial assistance,” GrowSari Co-Founder Reymund Rollan said.
He added that, “With the fresh funds, we aim to more than double GrowSari’s existing coverage and service more than 300,000 sari-sari stores, including those in Visayas and Mindanao.”
Rollan noted that, “This will also help us broaden our supplier marketplace with new third party partners and scale our financial service pilots.” Sari-sari stores or mom-and-pop neighborhood stores are the backbone of Philippine retail and are an integral part of the economy with an estimated retail sales value of $100 billion.
GrowSari aims to tap into the sari-sari store’s potential to be the biggest and most accessible distribution channel in the Philippines by driving efficiencies in route planning while collecting valuable insights on store behavior.
Through the GrowSari app, sari-sari stores can double their earnings through access to better pricing for more than a thousand of fast moving sari-sari store stock keeping units (SKUs) from the largest brands across all the major FMCG categories.
This is in addition to microfinancing support and assistance, and multiple e-services including telco, bills payment and remittance.
“Through GrowSari, we want to use proprietary technology to accelerate financial health for Filipino sari-sari store owners, helping them to use, protect, and grow their business in the long run and transforming sari-sari stores into comprehensive service hubs for the Philippines’ grassroots communities,” said GrowSari CTO Siddhartha Kongara.