BRI Ventures, the venture capital arm of Indonesia’s largest state-owned bank Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), has launched an early-stage investment fund and is seeking 300 billion rupiah ($21 million) for its first close.
Sembrani Nusantara, as the vehicle is called, is BRI Ventures’s first fund to tap external investors for capital.
From its first fund, which was derived from its parent company’s balance sheet, BRI Ventures has made investments in Investree, Modalku, Payfazz, Tanihub, Ayopop and Nium.
Named after a unicorn-like creature in Indonesian folklore, Sembrani Nusantara will focus on investments in education, agro-maritime, retail, transportation, and healthcare sectors.
Speaking at its launch, BRI Ventures CEO Nicko Widjaja said the VC firm aims to make its first investment from the new fund within the next quarter and hopes to back up to 15 startups in the next three years.
The new fund is locally incorporated and licensed by the nation’s Financial Services Authority (OJK).
The Sembrani fund makes BRI Ventures the latest CVC of a state-owned company to launch a multiple-LP venture fund. The move was pioneered by MDI Ventures, the VC arm of telco firm Telkom Indonesia, and has been followed by Mandiri Capital Indonesia, the VC unit of Bank Mandiri.