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One of Indonesia's earliest payments apps, Kudo is joining forces with Grab to become the region’s leading provider of online banking and shopping services.

Limited internet access

Better internet and smartphone connectivity is needed to boost e-commerce development throughout Indonesia

Lack of trust problem

Cash payments preferred due to fear of fraud relating to bank transfers and credit cards.


8.7 million

Estimated number of online shoppers in Indonesia in 2016

E-commerce sites offering secure and reliable online payment solutions will be able to attract and retain a huge number of new online consumers.

Kudo has an extensive network of local agents to help customers to use its mobile payment app to buy goods and pay bills online. The O2O platform offers an alternative cash payment system that connects vendors to consumers in over 500 cities, remote towns and rural areas across Indonesia.
Kudo has an extensive network of local agents to help customers to use its mobile payment app to buy goods and pay bills online. The O2O platform offers an alternative cash payment system that connects vendors to consumers in over 500 cities, remote towns and rural areas across Indonesia.
In a multimillion-dollar deal, Grab has acquired the extensive network of local agents carefully built up by Kudo since 2015. Kudo’s online-to-offline (O2O) platform, that allows customers to shop online by paying cash directly to certified agents, will be used to bring digital services to new customers across Indonesia.

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Kudo offers a more accessible and reliable online payment system to appeal to the masses across Indonesia. Its trusted local agents are certified by Kudo to collect cash from the customers and make e-payments on their behalf, in lieu of bank transfers or credit card payments by the customers. 

The agents are required to open Kudo accounts first by  depositing funds with Kudo in advance. The agents will then receive the cash payments from the customers who wish to purchase goods and services online. The Kudo mobile app is then used to make the digital payments from the agents’ Kudo accounts. Commissions are later credited into each agent’s Kudo account based on the transactions handled by the agent.

Although tablets equipped with the Kudo app were initially given to the agents, the company has now released an Android app and a web app that enable anyone with a smartphone or a personal computer (PC) to become an authorised Kudo agent. This will help to boost Kudo’s 400,000-strong agent network, with a target of 1 million set for 2018.

In addition, Kudo also hosts an e-commerce platform for its merchants to advertise their products and services to potential customers. Notably, other e-tailers such as Bukalapak, Lazada and elevenia are also using Kudo to attract new customers who may prefer to make payments through their Kudo agents.

Kudo also operates its own store Toko Kudo, or Kudo Shop. Besides online shopping, customers can also top up their SIM card accounts, pay bills and insurance premiums, or even buy flight tickets online. Gift vouchers for popular brands, including online games, are also available on the website.

Therefore, it came as no surprise that Southeast Asia’s up and coming technology company Grab has offered millions of dollars to acquire Kudo’s O2O network in Indonesia. Grab has pledged to invest US$700 million to develop various business operations in Indonesia, with US$100 million earmarked for local startups involved in developing innovative financial services.  

Research showed that internet penetration in areas outside the cities was estimated to be 20% in 2014. A significant portion of local consumers also do not have credit cards or other bank accounts to enable them to shop online. Many are also unfamiliar with the process of online shopping and e-payments, explained Kudo’s CEO Albert Lucius. Kudo and GrabPay will be merged to tap into this huge e-commerce market, ranging from on-demand services, online shopping and financial services.


  • Launch
  • Growth
  • Recent Developments
  • Future Plans
  • 2014 - Kudo B2B prototype launched; Seed funding received.

    Read in detail:

    The launch

    December, rolled out Kudobox 1 kiosks in shopping malls and public locations in Jakarta.

    • PT Kudo Teknologi Indonesia was set up in May 2014. The Kudo name came from “Kios Untuk Dagang Online”, or online kiosk. 
    • Initial plan was to put self-service electronic kiosks in shopping malls and other public locations, where customers could make online purchases and pay directly in cash.
    • The kiosks, with 10-inch tablets, would be installed as a B2B model. Kudo would pay a rental fee to the owners of the sites where the kiosks were installed.
    • But the time needed to install kiosks was too long and it was discovered that customers did not know how to use the kiosk tablets on their own. The machines were eventually discontinued and it was decided that local agents would be needed to introduce Kudo to consumers.

    November, Kudo raised seed funding from East Ventures.

    • Funds would have been used to roll out more kiosks to expand the business. The funds were used to supply local agents with Kudo tablets instead.
  • 2015 - New agent-led model; secured Series A funding.

    Read in detail:

    Products and services

    January, Kudo began employing agents to introduce Kudo to potential customers.

    • Recruitment of local agents expedited business growth because consumers preferred and trusted face-to-face dealings with the certified agents, instead of self-service kiosks.
    • The agents were given 7-inch tablets Kudobox 2, equipped with the Kudo app. Aspiring entrepreneurs and mom-and-pop store owners were able to become e-commerce sellers of bulky or expensive goods without the high capital outlay of buying their own inventory.

    April, undisclosed funding from SPH Media Fund

    May, secured seven-digit Series A funding led by GREE Ventures and East Ventures, joined by 500 Startups and IMJ Investment Partners. The funds were needed to expand Kudo’s network of local agents who had to be supplied with tablets to access the mobile app.

    June, further funding received from EMTEK, just 30 days after closing the Series A funding round. Again, the funds were needed to finance Kudo’s decision to give each new agent a tablet to enable them to access the Kudo app payment system.

    December, undisclosed funding from  SPH Media Fund.

  • 2016 - Secured further funding from EMTEK; Mobile and web versions launched.

    Read in detail:

    Products and services

    March, a Kudo mobile app was launched through Google Play Store.

    May, Kudo released a web version of its app, allowing those with a PC or laptop to become Kudo agents as well. Anyone with a computer or an Android device could apply to become an agent by signing up and providing a proof of identity.


    September, Kudo announced an eight-digit funding round led by EMTEK.

    • Funds were to be used to expand its network of agents even further into Indonesia’s suburban and rural areas.
    • E-commerce ventures in EMTEK’s portfolio, such as Lakupon, Bukalapak and Bobobobo, were also able to use Kudo to reach out to new customers.
  • 2017 - Acquired by Grab in a multimillion-dollar deal.

    Read in detail:


    April, Singapore-based ride hailing tech company, Grab announced the acquisition of Kudo.

    • Earlier, Reuters reported that Grab could offer over US$100 million for Kudo but other media updates later indicated that the deal could be a mix of cash and equity, with an estimated value of US$80–US$100 million.
    • Kudo would become part of Grab, with the Kudo platform to be integrated with GrabPay.
  • Recent Developments

    Currently has over 400,000 agents serving 1.6 million customers across Indonesia. Local agents are vital to Kudo’s e-payments infrastructure to connect vendors to consumers across the archipelago.

    Kudo was recently acquired by Grab, well-known for its GrabTaxi app, a transport booking platform that covers 28 cities across six countries in Southeast Asia. The Singapore-based technology company is now rapidly diversifying into other e-commerce sectors including consumer and financial products.

  • Future Plans

    Recruit 1 million agents across Indonesia to use the e-commerce platform by 2018.

    Complete Kudo’s integration with Grab’s payment ecosystem GrabPay, to expand into other e-commerce businesses besides transportation.

Updated: 04/2017

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