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Business

Indonesia's Snapcart raises $10 million for overseas expansion

Receipt analytics startup aims to enter three new markets

An Alfamart convenience store in the outskirts of Jakarta. Snapcart gives users small amounts of electronic money in exchange for photos of receipts that they send through the app. (Photo by Wataru Suzuki)

JAKARTA -- Snapcart, an Indonesian marketing research startup that analyzes data from receipts, said Thursday that it had raised $10 million from new and existing investors as it gears up for overseas expansion.

The round was led by Singapore-based Vickers Venture Partners, and included funding from Social Capital, Kickstart Ventures and Endeavor Catalysts. Existing investors Wavemaker Partners and SPH Ventures also participated.

Snapcart runs a smartphone app that lets users send photos of receipts from purchases at convenience stores and supermarkets in exchange for small amounts of electronic money. The company then extracts the receipt data and analyzes it for consumer goods companies. For example, it can gather data on how frequently women switch to a different shampoo brand when the price is lowered.

Snapcart co-founders Laith Abu Rakty, left, and Araya Hutasuwan (Photo by Wataru Suzuki)

Snapcart says data provided by traditional market research companies like Nielsen is insufficient. "The problem with point-of-sales data is you don't know who buys the product," co-founder and chief financial officer Araya Noon Hutasuwan said in an interview. "Users are not loyal to the retailer, but to the brand. It is important to understand how consumers switch [to other products]."

Some startups in developed markets offer similar services, but Snapcart says its character recognition technology is optimized for emerging markets, where the quality of receipts is poor and retailers use different formats for their receipts.

Established in 2015, Snapcart plans to maintain around 50,000 monthly active users per country for its app. The company lists Unilever, L'Oreal and Nestle among its clients. Snapcart intends to use the fresh funding to develop its technology and expand overseas.

The company already operates in the Philippines and wants to enter three more markets over the next year.

One challenge is tapping into micro, family-run shops that account for a large portion of retail transactions in emerging markets like Indonesia. Snapcart will soon roll out a point-of-sales app for shop owners.

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