Grab, Emtek Group launch joint initiative to digitise SMEs in Indonesia

Neneng Goenadi, Country Managing Director of Grab Indonesia and Sutanto Hartono, the managing Director of Emtek group in the virtual press conference

Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab and Indonesian media and tech conglomerate Emtek Group have jointly launched an initiative to digitise SMEs in tier 2 and 3 cities in Indonesia.

The development comes at a time when the two companies are exploring opportunities through their subsidiaries to expand their operation in the archipelago as competition hots up the technology landscape with Sea Group and Goto being other prominent players.

Earlier this month, Emtek picked up a 3.29% stake in Grab’s local unit for $210 million, thereby increasing its holding in the company to 5.88%, DealStreetAsia had reported. Prior to that, in April 2021, it had entered Grab Teknologi Indonesia’s cap table with the acquisition of a minority stake in the unit.

“We will focus on the collaboration between Emtek and Grab. Both companies will explore the investments through KMK Online (Emtek group) and Grab Ventures Velocity. At this moment, we will launch the initial programme for digitising SMEs in II and III-tier cities,” said Neneng Goenadi, country managing director at Grab Indonesia on Monday in a virtual press conference.

The newly launched initiative, called Festival Kota Mapan, aims to digitise as many as 1,000 SMEs in Solo, Central Java, starting September. It will also see the participation of e-commerce unicorn Bukalapak, which is backed by Emtek.

Through the initiative, the companies seek to achieve the government’s target to digitise 30 million SMEs in Indonesia by 2024.

“With Emtek’s asset in the digital ecosystem, we expect to digitise more SMEs … Bukalapak has 7 million warungs (mom and pop stores) in the rural areas,” Sutanto Hartono, managing director at Emtek Group, added.

Festival Kota Mapan will be jointly supported and curated by Bukalapak, GrabFood, GrabKiosk, and GrabMart.

Besides this initiative, Grab also has established a bundling programme with Emtek’s Vidio, the video-on-demand platform. The bundling programme will offer a discount to one-year premium subscribers when customers want to transact in GrabFood.

Both Grab and Emtek have investments in each other. Emtek has so far invested a total of $375 million in Grab Teknologi Indonesia. Meanwhile, Grab picked up a 4.6% stake in Emtek in March, when the latter raised 9.3 trillion rupiahs ($635 million) through the issue of new shares in a private placement.

Emtek’s share sale had also witnessed participation from South Korea’s NAVER Corp, Ashmore Asset Management Indonesia, and Manulife Aset Manajemen Indonesia.

Currently, Bukalapak is also on the verge of making a debut on IDX – it could become the first in the startup ecosystem to launch an IPO, that too, the largest in the country’s history. Reuters reported, Bukalapak has raised $1.5 billion in its initial public offering and priced it at the top of an indicated price range.

Currently, Emtek through PT KMK is the biggest stakeholder in Bukalapak – it holds 31.9% stake in the company, followed by API (Hong Kong) Investment Limited and Singapore’s GIC. After issuing the new shares, the stake of these existing shareholders will get diluted.

KMK will hold 23.93%, while Ant Financial’s API (Hong Kong) Investment Limited will hold 13.05%. Meanwhile, GIC’s stake will come down to 9.45%.

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. 
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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.