Bukalapak co-founders and former executives Achmad Zaky and Nugroho Herucahyono (Xinuc) have set up a VC fund, called Init 6, currently deploying funds from their personal pockets, to invest in seed and Series A-stage startups in Indonesia.
“Currently this is from the GP’s own money. It is not a proper fund. We will consider inviting external parties in the future if this proves successful,” Zaky told DealStreetAsia.
The move to venture into the venture capital space was initiated by Zaky, who led Bukalapak for almost a decade as its CEO before stepping down in a shocking move late last year. He has roped in long-time friend Xinuc to join him. Xinuc also announced his exit from Bukalapak earlier this month.
The pair announced their first investment on Tuesday in edtech startup Eduka System, and is in the process of closing a few more deals soon, Zaky said. Established in November 2018, Eduka System develops online test system for schools and students.
“We want to help our younger brothers who have just started building a startup. We feel that our skill and experience can be of help to them,” he said.
“We have hands-on experience. Xinuc, for example, is really good at scaling technology so that it can absorb millions of users at once in a cost-efficient way. Therefore there is no need for trials and errors,” he added.
Collegemates Zaky and Xinuc were the brains behind Bukalapak, an online marketplace business they started in their dorm room at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) in 2009. Later in 2011, they were joined by a third collegemate, co-founder Muhammad Fajrin Rasyid.
Under the trio’s leadership, Bukalapak has grown to become one of the biggest tech companies in Indonesia, with the help of some capital injections from prominent VC firms such as Indonesia’s Emtek, Singapore’s GIC, China’s Ant Financial, and Korea’s Shinhan Financial Group.
Bukalapak last raised funding in October 2019, when it secured an undisclosed amount of Series F funding at a valuation of over $2.5 billion.
Now, spearheading Bukalapak’s new charge for sustainability is ex-banker Muhammad Rachmat Kaimuddin, who comes in to take Zaky’s mantle as CEO. He takes over the tough task of leading Bukalapak in an increasingly tough e-commerce space, with competition from heavily-funded unicorns such as Tokopedia, Lazada and Shopee.
Init 6 becomes the latest newcomer in Indonesia’s increasingly crowded VC scene. Over the past couple of years, Indonesia has seen the emergence of a host of new homegrown firms such as BRI Ventures, OCBC NISP Ventura and Kinesys Group, while it continues to be a hot target for regional and global investors.