As Southeast Asia’s biggest economy and the world’s fourth largest consumer market with a 260-million-strong population, Indonesia has emerged as the next big consumer battleground for global investors.
Mega deals such as the recent Alibaba-led $1.1 billion round in the archipelago’s e-commerce major PT Tokopedia and a $500-million investment in online travel portal Traveloka underscore the intense investor interest in the country.
It is no wonder then that Indonesia has consistently accounted for the most venture capital (VC) deals among emerging startup markets since 2012, outpacing rivals such as Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan, according to a recent CB Insights report. However, challenges abound — the economy is growing slower than expected, the pace of infrastructure development is slow, and the regulatory environment is more an obstacle than an enabler.
So, can Indonesia deliver for VCs? At the Asia PE-VC Summit 2017, we will pose this question to an expert panel of investors, including some who have also dabbled as entrepreneurs. Join us to get the answers.
Meet our panelists:
CEO, Bubu.com; co-founder & CEO, Sqeeqee
Shinta Dhanuwardoyo is a digital visionary. In 1996, she created Bubu.com, a web development platform that has now evolved into a digital advertising company. Dhanuwardoyo then helped found online marketplace Plasa.com (which later became Blanja.com) in 2008. Recently, she was named co-founder and CEO of “social networthing” platform Sqeeqee.com.
Dhanuwardoyo is one of the co-founders of Angel-eQ, Indonesia’s first tech-focused angel investor network.
Leon John Hermann
Head of South Asia & SEA, Global Founders Capital
Global Founders Capital, the VC arm of technology incubator Rocket Internet, has invested in companies such as Indonesian flight search engine Traveloka and Singapore-headquartered remittance payments startup InstaRem. Under Hermann’s leadership, the VC firm now plans to invest up to $10 million in Indonesian startups by the end of 2017.
In a recent interview, Hermann had listed regulatory issues and ownership restrictions among challenges faced by investors in Indonesia.
However, he remains bullish on the market. “There are problems to solve across different verticals, such as penetration of insurance products, access to financial products, health counselling and content. We are very excited given that such problems could be solved through tech and we see more entrepreneurs tackling such spaces.” he had said.
Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Alpha JWC
Alpha JWC describes itself as a Southeast Asia venture capital firm with an Indonesia angle. It recently participated in a $27-million funding round in Indonesian fashion e-commerce startup SaleStock. The VC firm also exited Singapore-based co-working space provider SpaceMob that was acquired by US co-working giant WeWork.
Co-founder Jefrey Joe was earlier the COO of Groupon Indonesia and a strategy consultant at The Boston Consulting Group in the archipelago. He also co-founded online bill payment platform Sepulsa.com.
Jefrey has been an active angel investor in early-stage technology startups in Asia and the US, including aCommerce, Shopline and Vantage Sports. He is also an advisor at the Angel Investment Network Indonesia (ANGIN) and a mentor at The Founder Institute.
Partner, Spiral Ventures
Formerly known as IMJ Investment Partners, Spiral Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on investments in Southeast Asia, India, Japan and East Asia. The VC firm is aiming to hit the first close of its South Asia and SEA-focused fund at between $20 million and $50 million next month.
Yasuhiro manages the VC firm’s investments in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as India. Talking to DEALSTREETASIA about the investment opportunity in Indonesia in a recent interaction, he recently said: “There are more exits and startup creations in Indonesia, so the region is one of the most active. It’s very natural that there’s a lot of interest now for the country, considering the startup activity there.”
Managing Partner, Venturra Capital
Stefan is Managing Partner at Venturra Capital, a $150 million fund focused on Southeast Asia. The VC firm’s portfolio companies include Indonesian education technology (edtech) startup Ruangguru and e-commerce startup Sociolla.
Before joining Venturra Capital, Stefan was a Partner at Monk’s Hill Ventures and Founder & Managing Director of Rocket Internet Southeast Asia, where he co-founded, amongst others, Zalora and Lazada.
His previous stints include those as a strategy consultant at The Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company.