By securing $2 million (or around P112 million) in the seed round, Philippines startup Packworks can now launch its enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform specifically servicing sari-sari store (neighborhood store) owners.
At its launch Wednesday, Packworks noted that it will use the fund to develop The Pack: SuperStore App that MSMEs can utilize to digitize their businesses to reach a broader market. The investment, which was led by end-to-end logistics group Fast Group and global private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, will also be used to build a department that directly engages the sari-sari stores and provide additional services with partners.
For ease of financial transactions, Packworks is going to build an open platform for financial institutions and brands to connect directly with store owners. ADB Ventures, Arise, Techstars, and IdeaSpace Foundation also participated in the investment round.
“We bootstrapped our way to helping 150,000 sari-sari stores,” said Ibba Bernardo, co-founder, Packworks. “We’re helping communities all over the Philippines to grow and become more resilient. Imagine how many more we can help with all these awesome partners. Our vision is now global.”
The Pack: Superstore App
Founded in 2018 with initial five sari-sari store-partners, Packworks now works with 150,000 networks nationwide and it is targeting to have 220,000 stores by the end of 2022 and 500,000 by end of 2023. It started out as a solution for multinational companies in the Philippines to connect with neighborhood stores. By 2019, the startup rolled out nationwide with only 220 stores and a value of $400,000. After a year, it gathered 27,828 stores with $30 million, and it reached 130,000 stores with $139 million in 2021.
“We have raised funds to help us expand our talent pool and boost our bandwidth to provide more to these store owners. We believe that our product offers an excellent upside,” said Bing Tan, co-founder, Packworks.
By developing “The Pack: SuperStore App,” Packworks aims to help store owners process their business’ inventory, bookkeeping, and data collection. They can also avail themselves of financial products and order supplies for a cheaper price without the hassle of coordinating and purchasing new stocks.