Private equity major KKR is investing $45 million in GrowSari, a B2B e-commerce platform serving MSMEs in the Philippines, to become the lead investor in the startup’s Series C round of funding.
KKR’s investment will help the Philippine startup expand into new locations across the Philippines while also bolstering the skills of its financial service.
Ashish Shastry, Co-Head of Asia Pacific Private Equity and Head of Southeast Asia at KKR, said they are excited to support the GrowSari team to achieve their expansion ambitions.
“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,” Shastry said in a statement.
In a separate statement, Reymund ‘ER’ Rollan, CEO and Co-Founder of GrowSari, said the latest investment would help increase their footprint nationwide to new municipalities and cities in the country.
The expansion will be concentrated in Visayas and Mindanao, which will help them get closer to their goal of improving the lives of more MSME owners and the communities they serve through positive socioeconomic effects.
Rollan added they are also doubling down on their capabilities to improve the overall customer experience and they are looking to increase their capacity to provide credit and basic financial services to sari-sari businesses, which is a major pain point for MSMEs with restricted access.
The present Series C round is highly oversubscribed, with new and existing investors showing strong interest. The final composition of the round is presently being finalized.
KKR’s investment in GrowSari is part of the firm’s Asia next-generation technology strategy. GrowSari is KKR’s most recent investment in startups that use software and financial technology to help MSMEs digitally transition. KiotViet, a merchant platform for SMEs in Vietnam, Yayoi, a software developer, distributor, and support service provider for SMEs in Japan, MYOB, a leading Australian online business management company, NetStars, the operator of Japan’s largest QR code payment gateway, Qonto, a leading European business finance solution for freelancers and SMEs in France, and Cegid, one of the largest SMEs in France, are among KKR’s global investments.