Indonesia Digest: Grab opens accelerator; Four startups merge operations

A Strides Transportation Pte taxi, operated by SMRT Corp., displays an advertisement for the ride-hailing application Grab, operated by GrabTaxi Holdings Pte, in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. Buyers in one of the world's most expensive car markets just missed their chance to snag one at the cheapest price in five years. Car-ownership permit costs in Singapore have gained since February after ride-hailing companies obtained licenses for their fleets and the regulator eased rules on vehicle loans in May. Photographer: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg

Ride hailing giant Grab unveiled its plan to support startups in the agriculture sector under its accelerator programme in Indonesia. On the other hand, as many as four SaaS-based Indonesian startups have merged into one entity called ‘Mekari’.

Grab opens second batch accelerator programme

Grab announced on Wednesday that it has opened a batch of two accelerator programmes for startups, targeting post-seed businesses focusing on agriculture.

The accelerator programme, called Grab Ventures Velocity, aims to nurture 3 to 5 post-seed Southeast Asia-based startups that could empower farmers by creating a sustainable fresh food supply chain in the ecosystem.

Established in July 2018, Grab Ventures is a venture investment arm of Grab. The unicorn has set aside $250 million (Rp 3 trillion) for the Grab Ventures Velocity programme.

The funding is allocated to nurture the growth stage of startups, which would be developed and later incorporated into Grab’s platform.

Four Indonesian startups consolidate into one entity

As many as four Indonesian SaaS platform-based startups Talenta, Sleekr, Jurnal, and Klikpajak consolidated their operations to form one entity called ‘Mekari’.

The consolidation of these startups would help the SMEs in adopting integrated technology for their businesses.

According to the Association of Indonesia Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises data, there are at least 60 million small and medium enterprises in the country, with only around 6 million of them having an online presence.

Mekari CEO Suwandi Soh said that the four startups gradually consolidated in the past year, merging various divisions such as human resources, software, accounting, and tax management into one entity.

One of the four startups, Talenta and Sleekr offered a human resources software solution that could ease payroll, reimbursements and absence system for clients.

Jurnal provides a business accounting solution, while Klikpajak is an online-based tax management platform.

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