Startup-investor matchmaking platform Connector.id is on course to launch its full version by the end of July, the site’s managing team told DEALSTREETASIA.
Connector – powered by Indonesian angel investor network (ANGIN) and the UNDP – has garnered over 400 startup applications since its beta version was introduced two weeks ago.
The idea is to help startup founders find the right investors for their ventures. Often, founders waste resources chasing the wrong investors, or even don’t have the channels nor the experience to source funding.
In Connector’s current beta version, a founder can fill up a form to provide a basic information about his or her business and what it needs. Then, the platform will match the startup with one or more categories of capital providers (bank, venture capitalist, angel investor, impact investor, government support or others).
The founder can then learn about the categories relevant to the business through curated articles, which offer tips and learning materials on how to engage with capital providers. When the startup is ready to be connected, the founder will again fill a simple form to commence the first stage of screening. Connector’s team will review the form before connecting with the applicant directly.
Denita Putri, an associate of ANGIN, revealed that the full version will allow founders to discover the exact names of capital providers which are most relevant.
“We have identified 14 categories of capital providers with a potential of more than 1,300 entities that we can match with applicants,” Putri said.
So far, Connector team has received more than 420 applicants, of which 70 per cent are technology companies. About 50 per cent have requested further connection (eg. pitch deck, call or meeting). Most applicants (38 per cent) are looking for equity, while the rest are looking for grants (14 per cent), collateralised loan (13 per cent), bridge loan (9 per cent), non-collateral loan (7 per cent), trade financing (5 per cent), and invoice financing (3 per cent).
However, not every applicant will be followed up, Head of ANGIN David Soukhasing said. At least, not in the same way. As the gateway between businesses and capital providers, Connector realizes the need to ensure that it does not overflow potential investors with ‘bad leads’.
“If a startup matches with a VC, for example, we will do a double assessment on that startup. If we think the startup is good, we will offer it up to the VC. We don’t want to start over-feeding investors with things that are not relevant, otherwise they will stop taking applicants from us completely,” he explained.
For some other types of capital providers, the filtering is less rigid.
“In the case of banks, peer-to-peer lending, and crowdfunding, for example, the screening is easier. These types of capital providers naturally receive a lot of applicants, so, in that case, we will connect them directly. This is how we try to protect everybody, we try to connect them in a different way,” Soukhasing added.
In the long run, Connector aims to reduce its dependence on donor funding. It’s mulling over a plan to monetize the business so that it could fund itself.
“Once it has reached a certain user-base, and if we can turn it into a sustainable business, we will start thinking about fundraising from VCs or angel investors,” Soukhasing said.
Sourcing deals is a common problem among VCs, PEs, and other capital providers operating in Indonesia. ANGIN hopes that Connector will also help ease this trouble for investors.