Case Study: The 100X Growth of Lapasar in Under 4 Years

Introduction to Lapasar

Lapasar, a B2B wholesale-tech company based in Kuala Lumpur led by Thinesh Kumar, Lakshmandas, Dannis Raj & Noomi Fessler. With a dynamic and diverse team of 70, Lapasar has recently raised 7.5mil from NEXEA’s Angel Investors, Family Offices, and Corporate Investors such as shopper360 Limited who led the round. Other co-investors include PitchIn and individual investors.
Thinesh Kumar, Founder of Lapasar and Ben Lim, Managing Partner of Investment Firm NEXEA
Lapasar started entering the FMCG wholesale market only in June 2020 which has helped the company grow 172% Y-o-Y and above 100x since their first funding round. Their growth has been unaffected by the pandemic and they see a lot more growth in the future given they have only begun to set a small footprint in their huge target market. Lapasar has ambitions to become the largest wholesale platform in the country by 2025 targeting above RM 2 billion revenues and the largest distribution and financial services capabilities for retailers in the country.
With regards to how NEXEA has been more than just an investor, Founder and CEO, Thinesh Kumar said: “NEXEA has been on our journey since day one. Funding us the first RM50k via the Watchtower & Friends/NEXEA Accelerator when we were merely an idea to give us clients and follow on funding. The mentors are people who have gone through the grind so when times are tough, speaking to them calms our nerves and allows us to focus on objective-driven solutions”.

NEXEA is an early-stage venture capital firm supporting and funding high growth tech Startups in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. They bring angel investors, family offices and corporate investors to strong Startups to support them in becoming potential unicorns.

“Lapasar will be using this round of fundraising to accelerate our growth for our wholesale business. We are targeting to serve 10,000 grocery stores, restaurants and hawker stalls over the next 24 months with extensive distribution capabilities by rolling out our mobile application- Lapasar-Borong. We aim to be the go-to mobile app for retailers to source and buy their FMCG goods at consistently low prices, delivered within 48 hours for free. Lapasar is also beginning to explore lines of credits with partners for the shops as a source of income which has shown early promise and will continue to expand on that as well.” 

What the Investors & Mentors Saw In Lapasar

Raising RM7.5mil in Lapasar’s latest funding round, will be the fourth round of funding that they have received from NEXEA.

Ben Lim, Managing Partner at venture capital firm NEXEA shared: “Lapasar has been a very strong team in a huge market from day one. NEXEA and our investors are very confident in their execution capabilities, hence our 4th round of investments into Lapasar”.

Peter Wee, Mentor & Corporate Innovation Expert
Peter Wee, who has been a mentor to Lapasar shared about his mentoring experience “I have been mentoring the leaders of Lapasar for the past 4 years now, and that was early on in their operations and growth. I must say it has been very enriching and satisfying to be able to see the company grow tremendously, and more importantly the leaders of the company to grow in their role as stewards of the company. I have been mentoring them on the business and leadership aspects. Of course as Mentor and Coach my role is also that of a ‘Connector’, that is to link them to the business community and create opportunities for them”.

Where do the mentors see Lapasar headed? “Looking at their growth trajectory hitherto, I am very confident they will grow very quickly to be a Malaysian unicorn in a handful of years. The team is cohesive and the workforce is young, energetic and hungry to achieve more. The team is a complementary team and takes their responsibilities seriously. They see the big picture and want to make a real difference to the people whom they serve and the people who work with them. So, that mindset is a great quality. Plenty of drive and determination and willingness to learn and improve themselves too”, shared Peter.

Lapasars Journey with the Corporate Accelerator

“We joined NEXEA VC, accelerator and venture builder in 2017, specifically the accelerator program, which to me, was the first step towards making my startup a real company. During the 3 months accelerator program, the Mentors really gave us a taste of what continuous improvement and growth meant.

Investors within the NEXEA network also opened up large corporate doors for Lapasar. Peter hooked us up to TNB and PwC who are some of our largest clients now. In a nutshell, NEXEA provided us with mentorship, the push we needed and the right contacts to expand our business.” says Thinesh Kumar about his experience with the Accelerator Programme.

Q&A Session With Thinesh Kumar

Thinesh Kumar, Lapasar
Thinesh Kumar, Lapasar
From the Accelerator Programme, what are some of the tangible outcomes that you have received as a Startup?

NEXEA provided me with the accelerator funds, access to 2 of our largest clients at that point (TNB and PwC) which increased our monthly revenues significantly allowing us to raise a pre-seed round and followed by a seed round from Singapore.

How has your experience been altogether with the introduction to corporates and how has it benefited you and your company?

The introductions that NEXEA made for us to corporates cemented our way to becoming a fast-growing startup that has grown from just 4 people to close to 100 people in just 4 years. It enabled us to earn far more revenues, gross profits and increased our ability to raise more capital and survive unexpected ordeals such as the pandemic.
How has NEXEA helped Lapasar's growth?

We raised our first round out of the accelerator by NEXEA from NEXEA itself worth RM 400k. This funding allowed us to grow our numbers from just RM 50k a month to RM 1 mill a month within 12 months.

When we went on to raise our next round in May 2019 worth RM 2 million, NEXEA also participated which grew our numbers all the way up to RM 8 million a month in Mid 2021 before securing this RM 7.8 million which will help us grow to about RM 40 million a month.

How has NEXEA supported you after the Accelerator ended?

The mentoring continued regularly even after the Accelerator programme ended.

Mentoring to me is extremely important as running a business in real life, the only way to learn is from failures. Mentorship on the other hand enables us to forgo and avoid those mistakes enabling us to save time and money. Mentorship also enables us to reflect on ourselves as we usually have the worst view of ourselves and mentors help us realize our behaviours and mistakes.

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