Astra Mitra Ventura eyes early-stage startups, not in rush to set up VC fund

Photo: Astra International

Astra Mitra Ventura, the venture capital arm of Indonesian diversified conglomerate and Gojek-backer Astra International, will focus on investing in early-stage startups – especially in the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors – the VC firm’s president director Jefri Sirait told DealStreetAsia.

Astra International is one of the largest conglomerates in Indonesia, with numerous subsidiaries in areas such as automotive, heavy equipment, mining, agribusiness and financial services.

The conglomerate also invests directly in startups in line with its business interests. Its investments include ride-hailing firm Gojek and logistic company Trukita.

Apart from manufacturing and infrastructure, Astra Ventura will also focus on startups that support its parent company’s ecosystem including tech-based automotive businesses (using machines, plastic injection, rubber, etc), infrastructure, agrotechnology and logistics.

“The synergy [with Astra International] is a must and we have a value chain business with a win-win benefit in our ecosystem. We are aiming for gain, while also for partial exit or full exit depending on the momentum,” Sirait said.

He added that the firm had yet to set up a venture fund. The reason for this, he explained, was because of the legal and tax concerns faced by companies who took the venture fund route such as  Reliance Capital, Mandiri Sejahtera and Mandiri Capital.

He declined to give details on the target size for this year and the number of deals that the firm will manage.

The VC firm offers four financing services – productive financing (working capital, equipment, building investment); equity/stock participation, Astra’s project financing (funding to support Astra’s vendors by invoice/PO financing), and convertible bonds conversion.

Its current fund for financing startups is derived from Astra Ventura’s own equity, while also partnering with a local lender for loan financing.

Established in 1991, the firm used to be a part of Astra Financial but has subsequently been established as an independent entity. Since it was created in 1991 until today, the firm has deployed a total of 1.053 trillion rupiahs ($76.8 million) to 516 SMEs and startups across the archipelago.

Its early stage to Series A investment in startups start from $500,000 and go all the way up to $1.5 million.

According to local media, Astra Ventura injected capital into automotive component manufacturer Laksana Teknik Makmur (LTMA) and automotive supply chain company Rekadaya Kreasi Indonesia.

Astra Ventura is the first corporate venture capital (CVC) firm from a private company in Indonesia. The country now has Mandiri Capital, which is said to be the first CVC by a local bank in Indonesia and the second by a state-owned enterprise, after Telkom Indonesia’s MDI Ventures.

The most recently established CVC arm comes from OCBC NISP Ventura which also recently obtained an OJK (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan – the financial services authority of Indonesia) license. Following the other lenders’ lead is Bank Central Asia (BCA), which invests in tech startups through its own VC firm Central Capital Ventura.

So far, there are 65 VC firms registered under OJK in Indonesia. According to the OJK data, the VC firms recorded financing for up to Rp 11,2 trillion in the first nine months of the last year; a 37.7 per cent increase compared to the same period in the previous year.

The lion’s share came from profit-sharing schemes – Rp 8.84 trillion as of October last year, up 29.2 per cent from the corresponding period in the year prior.

In the first nine months of the last year, the financing through equity option was recorded at Rp 1.84 trillion, while through convertible bonds conversion it was pegged at Rp 533 billion.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.