Category: 4 Digital E-conomy By : Luc Cochet Read : 1672 Date : Friday, February 19, 2016 - 08:14:00

    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    At 29, Dutchman Jan Oudeman is a rare breed, having both Indonesian and Internet experience. Before returning to Indonesia in 2012, he had already lived here for two years, working at a fintech company, from 2008 to 2010. The company, Asyx, then brought him back to his native Netherlands. He then got his MBA at Eramus University in Rotterdam and started his own Internet firm in 2011 to help match jobseekers and companies.

    Yet soon he looked for a new challenge. “I said to my wife, let’s go back to Indonesia and try our luck,” says Jan. In December 2013 he founded PT Grivy Dotcom, which operates under the name Grivy. The name was bought off the Internet for $10 because it was short and memorable. Grivy first offered a restaurant reservation system. Yet when that idea couldn’t gain traction, in early 2015 Jan reinvented Grivy as a “marketplace for localized consumer services.” Grivy’s business model, as he defines it, shares similarities to Meituan in China and the global online giant Groupon. Its main competitors in Indonesia are Groupon, and local startups Lakupon from Emtek and Ensogo from Living Social.

    Grivy now offers two types of marketplaces. The first is where users can use location services to find special deals near them, and download online vouchers to buy the goods or services. The second is an auction, where the user with the highest bid can buy a goods or services at a discount from a merchant.

     “We connect online shoppers with offline businesses,” says Jan. Grivy specializes in a market known as offline to online (O2O).  His ambition is for Grivy to become a leader in the O2O industry in Indonesia, and claims Grivy has already taken the lead over Groupon and other rivals. Grivy now has 20 full-time employees, more than 1,000 merchants offering goods and services, and a presence in five cities. “We see a lot of potential because if you drive here on the streets, you see a lot of businesses opening up. They don’t have the capacity to do their own marketing and that’s basically where we come in,” says Jan. One of the key concepts of Grivy is to help companies tap the Internet’s vast potential.

    “We go visit the merchants, we negotiate deals on behalf of our users and then we sell those services on our platform where we own the transactions,” he says. While many clients are small and midsized businesses, Grivy has offered deals from bigger players such as Hard Rock Café and Shangri-La hotel in Jakarta.  Jan says Grivy facilitated 5,000 deals over the past year, 50% of them from auction deals and 50% from instants buys, however, that mix may change. “We expect most of revenues to come from instant deals in the future,” he says.

    The founder is also launching a third service this year, a reverse auction. “It’s a reverse auction but we call it price skimming,” he says. Users can offer a discount price to a merchant, who has the option to accept it. If accepted, users must buy at the agreed price. Buyers can improve their chances by making a group bid with others.