GrowSari Secures P2.3 Billion Investment From KKR in Series C Funding Round 

The local startup caught the eye of a leading global investment firm.

Philippine startup GrowSari has just bagged another sizable investment, this time worth $45 million (P2.3 billion) from leading global investment firm KKR, which led the Series C funding round. The investment in the startup will support GrowSari’s plans to expand throughout the Philippines and strengthen its financial services. 

GrowSari is a B2B e-commerce platform that’s best known for supporting micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, particularly sari-sari stores, carinderias, and pharmacies. As a tech-enabled platform, GrowSari gives these MSMEs access to a wider range of products and services so the stores can in turn better serve their local communities. These services include bill payments, telco reloads, wallet top-ups, and procurement of retail goods and pharmaceutical medicines. 

The startup currently services 220 municipalities in Luzon alone. The company said it experienced a “6.5x increase in gross merchandise value since 2019 and a 2.5x increase in revenue over the same period” thanks to the growth in digital adoption and proximity shopping. 

Aside from KKR, GrowSari counts the following organizations and venture capital firms as investors: Temasek-affiliated Pavilion Capital, Tencent, International Finance Corporation, JG Summit, Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc., Wavemaker Partners, Saison Capital, and Investment & Capital Corporation of the Philippines. The Series C funding round is currently ongoing, and as per GrowSari, is “significantly oversubscribed.” The total funding raised in Series C is yet to be announced. 

“Our investments will be focused towards expanding in Visayas and Mindanao this 2022. This will bring us a step closer to our mission of creating a positive socio-economic impact to the lives of more MSME owners and the communities they serve,” said Reymund ‘ER’ Rollan, CEO and Co-Founder of GrowSari. 

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“In addition, we are doubling down on our capabilities to improve the overall customer experience and look to expand our ability to provide sari-sari stores access to credit and basic financial services.”

GrowSari is KKR’s latest investment in the region following a series of investments in startups from Vietnam, Japan, and Australia, all of which also focused on digitally transforming MSMEs through software and fintech. 

“We are pleased to invest in GrowSari, an innovative company with tremendous potential to digitally transform the operations of Filipino MSMEs, who are crucial contributors to the country’s economy and a pillar of the business community,” said Ashish Shastry, co-head of Asia Pacific Private Equity and head of Southeast Asia at KKR. 

Meanwhile, KKR’s growth technology lead in Southeast Asia shared that KKR hopes “to leverage our global experience, regional connectivity and flexible capital to help GrowSari achieve its ambitious growth objectives.”

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Anri Ichimura
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