Astra International, Indonesia’s highly diversified conglomerate, has identified at least five startups to mentor through its partnership with US-based accelerator Plug & Play. The startups operate in automotive and financial services-related sectors, a company official told reporters.
About 50 per cent of Astra’s business comes from the automotive sector. The firm has monopolized the distribution of brands like Toyota, Daihatsu, Isuzu, Honda, BMW, and Peugeot in the country.
Astra director Paulus Bambang Widjanarko said the startups will be given guidance and mentorship at an initial stage, with possible funding commitments in later stages. He declined to reveal the identities of the startups.
“When we talk about startups, the first thing they need is mentorship and this is where we come in. (Finding) funding is easy, but finding mentorship and guidance is not,” Widjanarko explained.
Plug and Play in May announced the selection of 11 Indonesian startups for a three-month accelerator programme. The startups – which will be granted around $50,000 each – are P2P lender Dana Didik, KYCK, Otospector, Bustiket, vehicle-advertising agency Karta, Sayurbox, bank account info provider Brankas, video job interview platform Astronaut, digital insurance provider Bandboo, recruitment app Wonderlabs, and Toucan.
They have been selected from among 400 others, who came from various cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, and Bali, as well as countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, and Germany.
Apart from collaboration with Astra International and investment advisory firm Gan Kapital, the accelerator has also partnered with Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Sinarmas, and Bank BTN.
Plug and Play had previously said that it will commit to investing in about 50 Indonesian startups per year, deploying as much as $10 million.