As the old proverb goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Fortunately, parents today can turn to online platforms for advice and support as they navigate the challenges of child rearing. With this in mind, Indonesia’s mom and baby B2C e-commerce platform Orami launched its Orami Parenting app in February, driving at engaging the country’s parenting community.
Orami was formed in 2016 after the merger of two women-focused e-commerce sites, Moxy and Bilna. The latter was founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Ferry Tenka, who now serves as Orami’s CEO. “Before Bilna, I founded a voucher and daily deals platform called Disdus, which was acquired by Groupon in 2011. Since around 70% of Disdus’ customers were women, I realized that women shop online more frequently than men, so I wanted to focus on them,” Tenka told KrASIA in an interview.
Orami then appointed Hendrawan Kartika in 2015 as its president. At the time, the site did not specifically focus on carrying products for moms and babies, but along the way, both Tenka and Kartika realized that the parenting segment was something that they wanted to concentrate on, so they decided to make the shift. “While there were already many women fashion e-commerce platforms out there, the mom and baby segment was relatively untapped back then, therefore we believe this vertical had huge demand in Indonesia,” said Orami’s president Hendrawan Kartika in an interview.
Nearly 4.8 million babies are born in Indonesia every year, according to the country’s population and family planning agency, reflecting the opportunities for an online parenting platform. Today, Orami has a mission to become a “parenting super app” that helps parents, especially moms with young kids, to fulfill their needs.
“We believe that there are four main things new mothers need. First is reliable information about how to raise and care for babies, especially their firstborns. Second is a support system. Being new parents can be difficult, so they need supporting communities that can understand their struggle and give them a pat on the back when needed,” said Tenka. “Third, they need to shop for babies’ essentials, like diapers, milk, clothing, and more. And finally, mothers need entertainment to prevent stress and emotional exhaustion,” he continued.
To address these points, the company introduced a forum called Orami Community in 2017, where Indonesian mothers can connect with each other and share their thoughts and experiences about parenting. This was a natural transition that moved an existing WhatsApp group to Orami’s own chat group feature, so that members could interact more conveniently. “We saw high interest and enthusiasm from the members, so we made several developments gradually until we finally launched Orami Parenting with more comprehensive services,” Kartika said.
Orami’s community currently has tens of thousands of members spread across 75 cities in Indonesia. Those users have been migrated to Orami Parenting. In addition to chat groups, Orami Parenting also offers online consultation classes, where mothers can consult experts such as pediatricians and child psychologists about a wide range of issues, covering child health to managing finances for a family. Members can also access tens of thousands of articles that have been validated by these experts. Moreover, Orami Parenting provides discount vouchers that are valid at hundreds of merchants and partners, including hospitals, daycare centers, playgrounds, salons, and more.
“These services cover information, support systems, and shopping aspects. Meanwhile, for entertainment, we regularly produce talk show videos and other educative video content on our YouTube channel. In the near future, Orami Parenting will integrate with our e-commerce app, so users can also shop for baby’s needs without having to leave the Orami Parenting app,” Kartika explained.
As the company evolves, e-commerce remains the main focus of Orami’s monetization for now, according to Tenka. He said that Orami’s website and app have approximately five million unique users each month. According to iPrice’s Indonesian e-commerce map, Orami was ninth by monthly web visits in the fourth quarter of 2019, pulling ahead of popular fashion sites Zalora and Sorabel.
Orami also runs a women’s empowerment program called Ibu Sibuk (“busy mothers”), which aims at giving mothers across the country a chance to bolster their household income by promoting and selling Orami’s products to their friends and communities. These sellers receive 30% profit from every purchase that is made on the platform through their promotions. Orami’s e-commerce portal currently has around 500 brands of FMCG products, from diapers and milk, to stroller and car seats. In 2019, Orami saw over 400,000 transactions and the company expects this number to grow by at least 2.5 times this year.
In order to realize its mission as a parenting super app, Orami will add more features going forward, such as financial and healthcare services, which include child education savings and pregnancy insurance, as well as online doctor consultation options. The company will partner with third parties to provide these services.
In 2016, the company raised USD 15 million from Indonesia’s Sinar Mas Digital Ventures (SMDV), Gobi Partners, Ardent Capital, and Velos Partners. Ormai plans to raise new funding later this year for its business expansion. “We believe this is the right time for us [to fundraise] as we’re entering a new chapter of our business journey with Orami Parenting. In terms of market expansion, we’ll continue to focus on Indonesia for at least the next two years before considering expanding to new markets in the region,” Tenka said.
This article is part of KrASIA’s “Startup Stories” series, where the writers of KrASIA speak with founders of tech companies in South and Southeast Asia.