F&B supplier STOQO collapses, a casualty of Covid-19 restaurant closures in Indonesia

STOQO bids farewell in a message on its website © STOQO

A once promising startup, STOQO’s woes reflect the challenges faced by the local F&B industry, which is finding new ways to stay afloat

Indonesian startup STOQO, which sold raw ingredients and supplies to F&B businesses, has closed down after a drastic fall in revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

On April 27, the company announced on its website: “With a heavy heart, we announce that STOQO has ceased operations.” An earlier message on the website had told users, “Wait for us to come back!” 

STOQO's closure confirmed a April 25 report by DealStreetAsia, which cited unnamed sources. 

Indonesia’s F&B businesses are among the hardest hit by the social restriction measures imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Indonesia’s minister of tourism and creative economy, Wishnutama, told media that restaurants have reported a 70% drop in revenue. According to a survey of its customers by Moka, which provides point-of-sales solutions to the F&B SME sector, businesses in 13 cities out of 17 polled experienced a slump in revenue in the January–February period. 

STOQO was founded in 2017 as an e-commerce platform to help small F&B businesses get ingredients and supplies easily and at reasonable prices. Orders placed through the STOQO's app were fulfilled on the same or next day, reducing the need for businesses to make supply runs every morning.

It raised a seven-figure Series A funding in 2018 from Accel Partners and Monk’s Hill Ventures, alongside Insignia Venture Partners, ZhenFund and Alpha JWC, following seed investment by Alpha JWC in 2017.

More delivery, e-commerce 

In its announcement, STOQO stressed that since its launch, it had strived to empower Indonesian SMEs in the culinary industry and it continued to believe in the importance of empowering SMEs. 

"We hope there will be a chance to support this mission again in the future,” it said.

STOQO's competitors include Moka's Moka Fresh, which lets subscribers order directly through their app. Another startup, Wahyoo, provides a similar service to help family-owned restaurants improve their operations.

Singaporean startup Eatsy, which lets customers order their food before arriving at restaurants, also shut down its Indonesian operations last month due to Covid-19. 

“The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a significant impact on many businesses, including Eatsy,” the company announced through its app. Eatsy entered the Indonesian market in November 2019, following a $550,000 seed funding from East Ventures.

With more Indonesian cities implementing large-scale social restriction measures preventing customers from dining in, restaurants are resorting to deliveries, either with their own fleet or through delivery services like GoFood and Grab Food. Popular cafes in the Greater Jakarta area have also begun selling their coffee by the liter through online marketplaces like Tokopedia and Bukalapak.

Gojek, Moka and customer loyalty rewards platform TADA have launched initiatives to help F&B and retail SMEs to sell coupons, which may be redeemed after social restrictions are lifted. By selling coupons, SMEs can maintain some cashflow despite not serving as many customers and survive long enough until business is back to normal.

Edited by S. Mani

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