In Indonesia, blue-collar workers — like couriers, warehouse staff, cleaners, and daily laborers — fill essential roles but are highly marginalized because they have informal positions, short-term contracts, incomplete work profiles, irregular and fully cash-based salary payments, and no opportunities to move up and upskill. All of this has led these workers to be excluded from accessing formal financial services. So, we are truly excited to now partner with MyRobin, a digital platform that provides these blue-collar workers with improved opportunities and much-needed financial services, a goal aligned with Accion Venture Lab’s mission. As participants in MyRobin’s pre-Series A round, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with founders Siddharth Kumar and Ardy Satria Hasanuddin, the team, and our co-investors to help the company reach and support blue-collar workers in Indonesia.
We invested in MyRobin because they:
Serve and improve the lives of blue-collar workers in Indonesia
The company estimates that there are at least 50 million blue-collar workers in Indonesia, and this figure is expected to grow as demand for workers to fill roles from fast-growing industries of e-commerce, logistics, and others will continue to increase. However, despite being an integral part of these businesses, these workers normally find themselves outside of proper employment and the formal financial system. Most of them work part-time, lack employment certificates, receive less than $300 per month on average, and struggle to progress into higher-value roles.
MyRobin works to provide these workers with a better alternative. By addressing the various problems that these workers are facing, starting with employment, the company aims to play a role in uplifting the lives of these workers. From couriers to warehouse workers, kitchen staff to field personnel, a significant portion of the population depends on these roles for employment, and it is crucial to continue finding ways to support them.
Take a holistic approach to build their platform
MyRobin understood that uplifting the lives of these workers start with helping them secure their livelihood, so they intervene at the start of this process – the job search. Blue-collar workers find roles via informal means like social media and referrals. Given this, MyRobin focused on: (1) building a strong community where workers can support each other and refer jobs, (2) partnering with enterprises and sharing open positions, and (3) creating a seamless and fully digital application process. MyRobin has organized and streamlined the job-hunting process, allowing workers better chances at landing fair employment opportunities (MyRobin also vets the roles on their platform).
The company’s support does not stop here. After landing a role, workers have access to other benefits such as affordable motorbike leases, discounts on daily needs such as motor oil, ability to build a digital profile (their version of LinkedIn, which is useful for keeping track of work history for future applications), and trainings and upskilling programs. MyRobin also provides embedded financial services, starting with advance access to their earned salaries but with plans to expand further to other credit products and microinsurance. These features add tremendous value to the workers in both the present and the future. MyRobin has built a platform truly focused on serving the blue-collar worker needs, and it is only through this holistic approach that the company will be able to impact the lives of these workers and build long-term resilience.
Solve the pain points of enterprises by providing a fully digital solution
As open roles are a key value proposition of the platform, MyRobin partners with large enterprises that hire blue-collar workers. And for those partnerships to work, MyRobin knew that it was crucial that the company solved the pain points faced by those corporates. The company worked diligently to understand the issues faced, and the major pain points were clear: (1) hiring and managing workers at scale and (2) reducing worker turnover.
For this, MyRobin built an end-to-end digital solution for enterprises that allows them to hire pre-screened, quality blue-collar workers at scale and in under 24 to 36 hours. In addition, MyRobin provides a dashboard to help monitor and track these workers and handles the salary payments, significantly reducing management costs. Finally, MyRobin also decreased churn of the workers through the value-added services available on the platform. By solving these pain points, MyRobin has turned itself into a key partner of enterprises, which will allow them to continue sustainably providing holistic support to the blue-collar workers on their platform.
Shown impressive growth and execution despite the challenges of the pandemic
MyRobin launched their platform in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic with Siddharth (CEO) stuck in Singapore and Ardy (CTO) in Jakarta. As I had conversations with the company, the founders and team continued to demonstrate success as they built their business despite the challenges. MyRobin was able to develop the initial version of the platform, secure partnerships with key corporates including Shopee, Anteraja, Shipper, and others, and grow their blue-collar community to over two million members — all during the pandemic.
Ultimately, MyRobin has the opportunity to transform the lives of blue-collar workers in Indonesia by providing them providing fair employment opportunities, access to benefits such as a digital profile and upskilling programs, and much-needed financial services. We are excited to work with and support the company as they bring greater financial inclusion and resilience to these workers.
MyRobin is our fifth portfolio company in Southeast Asia and the second made during the pandemic, along with our investment in Fairbanc. We also recently followed on in the Series A of specialized education lender Pintek in Indonesia while continuing to actively support digital B2B SME lender First Circle and earned-wage-access (EWA) platform Advance in the Philippines. This is only the beginning of our work in the region, and we look forward to working with and supporting more innovative and impactful founders and startups that contribute to greater financial inclusion.