This is Mangrove Capital’s first investment in Southeast Asia after a rich history of backing global tech leaders including communications giant Skype and website builder Wix.
The funding is also an indication of investors’ growing interest in capitalizing on the demand for digitization among small businesses, the company said in a statement.
Other Series A participants include Southeast Asia payments unicorn Xendit, who is excited to be an active partner in addressing the urgent need for digital payments in small businesses, and William Kim of Shinsegae International whose expertise in health and beauty helps the superapp marry industry insights with the team’s hyperlocal SME knowledge.
Founded by Macy Castillo, former Shopee Philippines country lead, and Geoffrey Prentice, Skype co-founder, Enstack provides small and medium enterprises (SME) with an end-to-end app to manage their businesses, including multiple storefronts, inventory, and integrated payment and shipping solutions.
This female-led startup knows how to empower the predominantly-female local SME landscape. Enstack came out of beta last October, saw 5x growth in the fourth quarter of 2022, and is now expected to grow by another 10x by the end of the year.
The app’s growth highlights the appetite of SMEs in food, fashion, and beauty to digitize business operations.
“Enstack’s mission is to empower underserved SMEs with integrated tools that grant flexibility, in a business landscape that is shaping-up to be a combination of both online and offline commerce. The all-in-one superapp makes it simple for businesses to digitize regardless of what business they own and where they are in their entrepreneurial journey,” said Castillo.
She added that Southeast Asia is now seeing the rise of its own ‘Commerce 3.0’ where merchants are demanding more tailored solutions to their growing businesses online and offline.
Armed with expertise and experience from the last decade in Southeast Asia e-commerce, Castillo said that their team created Enstack as a response to barriers to SME digitization.
Castillo said they have seen how small businesses embraced as they also transition to digital. She looks forward to building on this momentum to help more SMEs in the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia be future-ready.
Mark Tluszcz, CEO of Mangrove Capital and Chairman of Wix, said that with the right combination of timing, innovation, and an experienced team sparks confidence in the venture.
He said that their investment in Enstack’s game-changing product is a reminder of when they made winning bets on early commerce disruptors that have successfully helped SMEs create and expand their digital footprints.
Southeast Asian economies have varying levels of capacity and readiness to shift to digitization, this is according to the International Institute for Management Development’s World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2022,
It added that the Philippines still lags behind neighbors, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia in its ability and readiness to embrace digitization as a “key driver for economic transformation in business, government and wider society.”
Enstack was created to offer a superapp that fulfills the diverse needs of entrepreneurs across the region, making it easy for business owners to digitize, no matter what kind of business they own or where they are in their entrepreneurial journey.