Aug 29, 2016

    Indonesian start-up to represent South-east Asia at World Cup


    INDONESIA'S Ahlijasa will represent South-east Asia at the 2017 Start-up World Cup grand final in the United States, selling the concept of on-demand laundry, home cleaning and air-con repair services through its website and mobile apps.

    The barely year-old start-up caught the attention of a panel of judges, among others from Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia at a Start-up World Cup event in Jakarta recently.

    Ahlijasa will get the chance to win a US$1 million (S$1.4 million) prize at the finale in March next year, which it hopes to use to hire more people, especially for its IT department.

    "Right now, we just have to prepare ourselves mentally to face the others in Silicon Valley because if they're there in the first place, then they must be good," said Dimas Wijaya, one of the two co-founders of Ahlijasa.

    "With laundry services in Indonesia, there seems to be no middle ground between premium laundry services and the very basic ones.

    "It's either too cheap or too expensive and most people do not trust the very cheap ones," co-founder Jay Jayawijayaningtiyas said.

    Ahlijasa connects independent laundry providers to customers, having partnered with 30 businesses across Jakarta, Bekasi and Tangerang, taking up to 100 orders a day.

    Dozens of drivers have also been tapped on for the service.

    Ahlijasa has 50 criteria, which include ironing and folding procedures.

    Customers pay 40,000 rupiah (S$4) per 25-litre box of laundry and get a guaranteed completion period of three days.

    Ahlijasa's win comes amid a mushrooming of e-commerce firms in Indonesia.

    Start-ups that have done well tend to focus on daily necessities, such as ride-sharing app Go-Jek and e-commerce platform Bukalapak.