Moka’s Five Year Journey and Its Ambition to be A Super-App Merchant

4 mins read
February 24, 2020
Moka's Co-Founder and CEO, Haryanto Tanjo / DailySocial

The increasing number of point-of-sale (POS) players might not be an issue, because the real enemy is the inefficient cash payment. There’s still a lot of homework for every stakeholder to solve many issues regarding business support, particularly SMEs, providing convenience transactions to all customers.

Moka is one of the players in this sector. It is known, not only as POS service but has claimed to be a super-app merchant, followed by its expansion to other verticals in order to support the ‘merchant’ business.

The super-app merchant is a new term the company aims to promote, as the public familiar with the super app term yet focuses only on the products for end consumers.

“In the first three years, we build up our POS service due to its complexity to handle small to big merchants; from POS, management, CRM, inventory. Afterward, in 2019, we scale up with new products, such as Moka Capital, Moka Pay, Moka Connect, and Moka Fresh,” Moka’s Co-Founder and CEO, Haryanto Tanjo said in an exclusive interview with certain media in the office last time (2/20).

Becoming the super app means the company is to highlight collaboration with partners to create an ecosystem. Almost every product vertical in Moka is a partnership result. Haryanto said, to acquire partners, the business has adopted an open ecosystem for seamless API integration.

Moka Capital is a collaboration with a p2p lending company to facilitate merchants for access to capital for business development. The partners include KoinWorks, Taralite, and Modalku. Since established in late 2018, it is said to distribute more than Rp40 billion for 300 merchants. They offer loans from Rp5 million to Rp2 billion with three months to 18 months tenor.

Furthermore, Moka Fresh as a marketplace to provide supply chains for culinary merchants online. The company partners with players such as Sayurbox, Blibli, Greenfields, Diamond, Unilever, Bogasari and ABC. In total, the product has owned more than 3 thousand SKUs.

“Culinary merchant spent 30%-40% on supply chain. However, as a single outlet, how you suppose to bargain with distributors. We want to support this through Moka Fresh, we aggregate order from our merchants to have the best price from the distributor.”

Next, there is Moka Pay to manage payment options in one simple cashier app. Every popular e-wallet is integrated into Moka Pay, including Akulaku and Kredivo.

MRT Jakarta partners up with Moka Connect


The latest announcement for Moka’s product vertical is the partnership with MRT as Moka Connect‘s new merchant. This is a marketplace containing various applications provided by third parties to support merchant businesses of all business scales, including the corporate level.

Examples of applications that already joined are Jurnal and Accurate Online to help bookkeeping, Eatsy to help consumers order food and beverages before arriving at the restaurants. The order will automatically listed in the Moka system, therefore, employees don’t have to re-record orders through the Eatsy application.

Furthermore, Storelogy is a platform that helps merchants create online sites, and GrabJobs is a recruitment platform to find high-risk blue-collar workers due to the high turn-over rate.

“Inside Moka Connect, we invite developers to involve and build applications on the Moka platform. The model is more or less the same as Google Play or App Store consists of many applications available for download. Thus, Moka’s will be seen as highly-recommended by merchants.”

Haryanto continued, “Enterprises have known Moka for the small merchant, it doesn’t seem so nowadays. Enterprises with their own ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, can also use Moka Connect to integrate their POS with Moka.”

Recently, MRT Jakarta announced a collaboration with Moka for this product. Moka Connect will be integrated into the merchant’s POS machine at the MRT station, even though the merchant is using another brand.” MRT can manage transactions from its SMEs, especially MRT and its merchants with its own revenue-sharing system.”

Focusing on growth

Product innovation and service expansion have become crucial things for POS players, in fact, many players in the local arena are also trying to present similar solutions. Besides Moka, there are other startups like Qasir, Cashlez POS, Pawoon, Nuta and the latest Youtap.

Haryanto said the online cashier business is still in its early stage, or yet to mature, that there are many merchants, especially micro, are yet to educate well with the benefits to their business. Business people who have been reached by the digital world are still far behind those offline businesses.

Quoting from the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (Kemenkop UKM), in 2017 as many as 3.79 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have utilized the online platform in marketing their products. This number is around 8 percent of the total SMEs in Indonesia, which is 59.2 million.


In terms of consumer, Moka noted that the percentage of transactions using cash still dominated the non-cash around 60%. “How to change the mindset of micro-merchants to get online is the hardest question. This requires collaborative efforts with all stakeholders, instead just Moka.”

Because the market is broad and yet to mature, Moka currently installing a mindset to focus on increasing growth. Although, in a business model, SaaS with b2b target consumers, naturally has a clearer unit of economics as to what the roadmap is to lead to profitability.

Another advantage in SaaS business is its higher gross margin, therefore, the income will stay without subsidies. Even if it does, the gross margin will remain large. The main income from SaaS is generally a subscription either monthly or annually, depending on each strategy.

“The question is whether you want profit now or later, whether you still have a mindset for growth. Revenue and profits we earn will be invested in more growth. However, we believe profitability is important. Because in the end, we have to take that way.”

On the same occasion, Haryanto avoids commenting further on the acquisition rumor of Moka by Gojek. He said the same statement as he responded to the public some time ago. “We do not comment on market speculation,” he said at the time, quoting from KrAsia.

He said the company is targeting 100 thousand merchants to join Moka this year, currently, there are more than 30 thousand merchants. Two-thirds of those are engaged in the culinary business, while the rest are from retail and service businesses.

With diverse business verticals, companies are confident to attract new merchants. Although, the POS business is currently Moka’s core business for it is the connecting bridge to other Moka verticals.

Since established in 2014, Moka currently has more than 800 employees and is entirely local talent.

Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian

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