Mapan’s services helps low-income Indonesians users afford goods and services

Mapan’s team, with CEO Ardelia Apti in the front

The round included participation from BRI Ventures, SMDV, Blibli, Prasetia Dwidharma, Flourish Ventures and 500 Global.

The new capital will be used to expand Mapan’s product range and partner with more suppliers for its marketplace of goods for resellers. It also wants to make Mapan Arisan available to 10 million households in Indonesia by 2026.

Mapan, which means “steady” in Bahasa Indonesian, was founded in 2009. The company recently appointed Ardelia Apti as its CEO. Before working at Mapan, Apti spent five years at Gojek as part of its GoTo Group, where she helped build Swadaya, its benefits program for Gojek drivers, and also led GoPay’s offline payments. Before that, she was country director for AI company Element, Inc. and a McKinsey consultant.

Apti told TechCrunch that Mapan’s founding team saw that “many existing commerce, income and financial solutions are not in favor of low-income communities. They require more effort and costs to be able to get the goods they want in a way that is affordable to them. Likewise, there are ways to earn income, many of which require time, capital and expertise that are difficult to access for this target market, especially women.”

When it was founded, Mapan was known was RUMA and enabled warungs, or small neighborhood stores, in rural areas to become bill and phone credit sellers. Apti said the company pivoted to focus on Mapan Arisan, launching the app in 2015 because it saw how many arisans were used by its target audience, and wanted to digitize the concept.

The company’s also introduced other products, including a bills payment features called Mapan Pulsa, and Mapan Mart, a platform where resellers can select consumer products from Mapan’s marketplace or buy for themselves.

Mapan Arisan groups have to have at least five members, and are used for goods and services, including kitchenware, electronics and furniture worth about 200,000 IDR (or about $13.48 USD) to 3 million IDR (about $200 USD), instead of cash. Apti said that “based on our research, social fintech with such a purpose is more needed by the low income community” and gives them the motivation to complete an arisan process.

Leaders of Mapan Arisan groups, called Mitra Usaha Mapan, or MUM, use its app to determine the shuffle dates of Arisans, or when each member gets their goods or services. Apti said that the winner of each raffle is decided through an algorithm to ensure fairness.

MUMs also get benefits including cashback commissions based on the total transactions or group value at the end of the Arisan and a loyalty program that can redeemed into a variety of benefits, including e-wallet credits, gold bars, motorcycles, different types of savings and house down payments. They also help Mapan grow by upselling its members to the company’s other services. Apti said that since 2009, the company has had 250,000 MUMs.

Mapan monetizes through the difference between its selling prices and purchase price from its supplier. Apti said that providing large-scale access to mid- to low-income communities in a cost-efficient way compared to their traditional channels means Mapan is able to offer better prices.

In a prepared statement, Patamar Capital partner Dondi Hananto said, “The concept of Arisan has been core to Indonesian culture for many years, and by digitizing it, Mapan brought scalability to the age-old practice.”

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