GDP Venture, through its unit Global Digital International (GDI), has invested an undisclosed sum of money into Indonesian media startup Kumparan. Existing investors also participated in the round.
Kumparan aims to use the fresh funds to expand its tech team, business development apparatus and new offerings to its users and commercial partners.
“GDI has valuable experience in tech and internet. In addition, GDI also has the expertise and network that will accelerate Kumparan’s growth,” said CEO Hugo Diba, in a press statement.
Kumparan claims to be Indonesia’s first hybrid online news site that combines online news with social media concepts. This concept allows users to be news providers. Users can write articles, or create videos, and follow other users’ profiles within the platform. Stories are presented in feeds and timelines just like other social media platforms.
It received its first round of funding – which was also undisclosed – in January 2017.
Today, the company says it has “millions” of monthly unique visitors and has on-boarded several local media outlets into its platform such as prominent business media SWA and multiple East Java-based publications. The team says more media will join Kumparan’s platform in the coming months.
In Indonesia, Kumparan competes with IDN Media, Baca, Brilio, and UC News, among others.
The fact that Kumparan was started by DetikCom founders may have added to its appeal. Those who are familiar with the Indonesian media history know that DetikCom was one of the pioneers in online news, when internet was still new in the country. It was also known as one of the most vocal news sites during Indonesia’s political upheaval of 1998, where series of protests and riots eventually led to the end of President Suharto’s 30-year totalitarian regime. In 2011, DetikCom was bought by businessman Chairul Tanjung for $60 million.
“We’re investing in Kumparan not just because the co-founders are reputable media personalities with combined experience of more than 30 years, but because Kumparan’s concept as a hybrid news provider can be a breath of fresh air for Indonesia’s news landscape,” said GDI representative Jerry Kasung.
“We like the idea in which readers can also participate and interact with other people about different news topics.”
GDP Venture is headed by Martin Hartono, the son of Indonesia’s richest businessman Budi Hartono, who founded the Djarum Group. The VC is an investor of Blibli.com, an online marketplace site which recently acquired online travel agent Ticket.com for an undisclosed amount. It invests in digital communities, media, commerce, and solution businesses.