Category: Entrepreneurs By : Lanny Surya Alfiani and Aastha Saboo Read : 2587 Date : Sunday, July 10, 2016 - 20:21:22

    Although Fabelio is a new website selling furniture online, co-founder Krishnan Menon, 26, still has four retail showrooms in Jakarta, making Fabelio an interesting online and offline startup. While a traditional furniture retailer would use these showrooms as the main point of sales, Krishnan says Fabelio’s showrooms are mostly for potential customers to examine samples before buying online.

    Krishan is targeting Indonesia’s $2.7 billion furniture market, forecast to grow to $5.5 billion by 2018. Many Indonesians are starting families and need to furnish new homes. Thus, Krishnan is targeting customers who earn at least Rp 5 million a month and are at least 24 years old—prime candidates to buy new furniture. “There is no other market comparable with Indonesia, the potential is huge,” says Krishnan.

    The Fabelio site went live in June 2015. So far it has secured about $2.5 million in funding, getting $500,000 from 500 Startups in July last year, followed by Series A funding of $2 million in January from investors that included the Riady family-connected Venturra Capital.

    Fabelio’s three co-founders all have experience in Indonesia’s nascent Internet sector. Menon worked at sites Freecharge, Lazada Indonesia and Lazada Southeast Asia. Co-founder Christian Sutardi was a co-founder of failed giftbox service Lolabox as well as being an associate at Internet investment firm Monk’s Hill Ventures. Finally, co-founder Marshall Utoyo co-founded the co-working space Conclave in Jakarta and a furniture design house FASA.

    Fabelio already faces some competition, namely Livaza, BeliFurniture, FurnishLab and Kikayu in the online sector. Meanwhile, traditional retailers such as Kawan Lama are entering the online space, with its new site Ruparupa that offers furniture from its Informa chain.

    Krishnan says Fabelio hopes to solve some of the problems of traditional furniture retailing. For one, Indonesia makes and exports much high-quality furniture, but it is difficult for local customers to find these items. Fabelio hopes to be a bridge between local furniture designers and the end-customer. Fabelio will allow furniture designers to post their designs on the site, while Fabelio will produce and distribute them.

    Using this method, he hopes to keep inventory low, thus allowing Fabelio to keep its prices low as a result. Among the other features of Fabelio are a policy allowing customers to return any item within two weeks and get a credit they can use to purchase another item. However, other sites offer similar policies, such as Ruparupa.