Bemalas or Belazee as it is known regionally has received a fresh round of undisclosed funding from global investors. The round was co-led by DeNA and Fenox Venture Capital, along with RIMU Group. It is a first-time investment for all three parties in Malaysia, which gives Belazee a boost in building their proprietary technology platform and strengthens their market leadership in all of their operating countries.
The company was founded by Adlin Yusman, Suthenesh Sugumaran and Puvanendren M. Maniam in May 2015 and had raised a seed funding round of USD500,000 which was led by KK Fund and Cradle Fund in June of the same year. At press time, all of KK Fund’s initial Malaysian investments – namely Bemalas, The Lorry and Kaodim – have received a second round of funding. Belazee quickly expanded into Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila and Brunei in just eight months.
KK Fund’s General Partner, Koichi Saito, said “We are excited about Bemalas’ achievements and the confidence that they have garnered. Bemalas is our third investment in Malaysia, this goes to show the strength of the Malaysian startup ecosystem.”
Similarly, chief investment officer of Cradle, Juliana Jan also expressed her excitement on Bemalas’ brisk move in raising the Pre-Series A round, noting that it is something that comes as no surprise to Cradle given the team’s ability.
“While Bemalas has an attractive business model and compelling market opportunity, what really stands out is its management team. The team’s fast execution and expertise to navigate their business towards regional expansion are the contributing factors to their success in securing the funds,” said Juliana.
Additionally, Juliana added that having seen Bemalas grow and scale upon its seed funding days, is indeed rewarding to Cradle.
“It is overwhelming to see where Bemalas is now and what they have achieved since they first came to us. Bemalas is efficiently scaling their business at an incredible rate faster than any of their competitors. It is evident that they are ready to dominate the bigger markets and Cradle feels nothing but immensely happy for them,” she added.
Group CEO, Adlin Yusman regards raising the Pre-Series A round from the global investors as a huge vote of confidence in Belazee’s ability to place stronger footing in its targeted markets.
“We shall continue to be the innovators in this space and are extremely humbled to have world-class investors with global networks, believe in our vision. Their support will help us reach even higher.
Subsequently, the investors have respectively commented on why they invest in Belazee, noting that they are all confident to support Belazee.
Masatoshi Fukasawa, DeNA’s SVP of Strategic Investment Office said “We’re really excited to have this opportunity. We believe that Belazee is the best growing mobile concierge service in SEA. We’ll support and collaborate with Belazee to create greater value to the customer and the market,” he said.
General Partner at Fenox, Anis Uzzaman said “Belazee is uniquely placed to lead the on-demand concierge business in SEA. It is a pleasure to support Belazee through their journey and growth.”
Petrus and Irwin, both partners at RIMU Group on the other hand said “We believe conversational commerce will be the next big thing and, given the founders’ expertise, Belazee will definitely be the go-to platform in SEA.”
In regard to the funds raised in this round, Adlin said that Belazee will channel the funds into the company’s technology development, which will entail the introduction of a mobile app.
BeMalas or Belazee that began as an SMS-only on demand concierge business, has quickly evolved into Asia’s first conversational commerce platform, with omni-channel chat functionality and a full-fledged e-commerce store.
The company presently handles 30,000 requests monthly across five countries. Belazee’s proprietary app will launch in Malaysia by the end of January and will roll out regionally by the end of the first quarter of 2016.