Indonesia Digest: East Ventures raises $609k for COVID-19 test kits; BukuKas bags seed funding

A new coronavirus visual model. Photo: Unsplash

Early-stage venture capital firm East Ventures has met its 10 billion rupiah ($609,000) fundraising target to procure 100,000 COVID-19 test kits, while Sequoia Capital India has led a seed funding round in Jakarta-based digital ledger platform BukuKas.

East Ventures meets fundraising target for coronavirus test kits

Southeast Asia venture capital firm East Ventures has closed its Rp 10 billion fundraising targets in an effort to produce 100,000 coronavirus test kits while also finance a vaccine research project in Indonesia.

More than 2,000 individuals and corporations from Indonesia and abroad have participated in the campaign.

Corporate donors include Tokopedia, Sociolla, Waresix, and Traveloka as well as venture capital firms such as EV Growth, and AC Ventures, Samora Group and Triputra Group.

The fund is also supported by Pavilion Capital, Adams Street Partners, and Zhang Yiming, CEO of ByteDance.

Out of the Rp 10 billion targeted fund, East Ventures said the Rp 9 billion will go into producing 100,000 test kits, while the remaining Rp 1 billion will be used to finance the whole genome sequencing project.

It said previously that it will also work with one of its portfolio companies, deep-tech startup Nusantics, on the initiative. Nusantics is a member of the Technological Research and Innovation Task Force for COVID-19 under the Indonesia Technology Assessment and Application Agency (BPPT).

Indonesia’s BukuKas bags seed funding led by Sequoia Capital India

BukuKas, a digital ledger for micro, small, and medium enterprises in Indonesia, announced an undisclosed seed funding round led by Sequoia Capital India through its startup programme Surge.

The company said in a statement that Credit Saison, Hustle Fund, Whiteboard Capital, 500 Startups and several angel investors also participated in this round.

The proceeds will be used to expand the product offering to include neo-banking services and hiring more tech talent.

Launched in December last year, BukuKas helps Indonesian MSMEs understand and manage their financial flows more effectively with the digital ledger system. The firm sees the opportunity from small conventional offline stores that usually tracked their income manually.

Founded by former furniture online marketplace Fabelio CEO Krishnan Menon and Lorenzo Perrachione, the platform provides a simple book-keeping solution for MSMEs to monitor sales, profit and credits – and send WhatsApp reminders to their customers when credit is due.

As of April, BukuKas claims to have served over 250,000 merchants who have recorded $150 million worth of transactions.

 

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.

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.