10 October 2014

Barter and location-aware services help Jualo take off in Indonesia

Teenage programming prodigy and entrepreneur, explorer, and philanthropist. Dutch native Chaim Fetter incubated his first online venture which focussed on developing e-commerce websites for companies in his late teens, travelled across Southeast Asia in his twenties, and then started the Peduli Anak Foundation for former street children on Lombok in Indonesia in 2005. 

Source: Jualo website.

Last year, Fetter decided to transfer the reins for the charity over to a local management team and move to Jakarta to start an entirely new business: Jualo, Indonesia's first consumer to consumer (C2C) marketplace that uses geo-search functionality. "Jual" means to sell in Bahasa Indonesia.

"Indonesia’s online market is growing fast and the country’s 250 million people have a tremendous fascination with the Internet," said Fetter. "Over the years, I’ve learned quite a bit about the Indonesian consumer and the buying and trading behaviour of people. Many people do not have sufficient money to buy goods - instead they trade them against other goods or services." 

Source: Jualo. Fetter, Founder of Jualo.
Jualo is a marketplace for second-hand goods that is tailored for Indonesian buyers, rather than sellers. The goods can even include used office furniture.

"The e-commerce industry has key issues of distribution - Indonesia has 17,000 islands and distribution is expensive; payment solutions - not many people have access to online payment solutions; and trust - most buyers do not trust online sellers," Fetter explained. 

Jualo's geo-search functionality makes it possible for buyers to find a seller for what they want which is close by. "In line with traditional Indonesian customs, Jualo also allows users to barter their goods for other goods and services. Seller verification further provides comfort to online buyers, especially first-timers. My aim is to turn Jualo into the country’s most trustworthy and user friendly market place for second hand goods and services," said Fetter.

The beta version of Jualo, created at Fetter's kitchen table, is now live. "In September, we hit one million unique visitors a month, 4.5 million page views, while the platform turns over US$6 to US$8 million dollars in second-hand goods. Although still small, we are proud of the early results," shared Fetter. "We got more than 100,000 active users within seven months, even though we do not have multi-million dollar marketing budgets at our disposal and have funded the business from our own savings to date. Having said that we have started our search for dedicated investors who can support us in growing Jualo to become a strong Indonesian and eventually regional player."

Source: Peduli Anak Foundation. Some of the
beneficiaries of the charity co-founded by

Fetter noted that Jualo is incorporated in Singapore, as there is easy access to qualified staff and financial institutions. "Singapore will be the next market where the platform will become active. We are even thinking about providing Singaporeans and Indonesians with access to goods and services that are sold in each others’ markets," he said.

Fetter says that 5% of Jualo’s profits are donated back to the Peduli Anak Foundation. "If many businesses and entrepreneurs in emerging markets such as Indonesia decide to follow the example of sharing their early success with the people who have less than they have, millions of people who currently live on or below the poverty line could benefit. This thought provides me with inner fulfilment I was always looking for, and reflects the ideal combination of doing business while caring about others," he said.