Indonesia's Saratoga Investama to make bigger play for tech investments

Indonesia's Saratoga Investama to make bigger play for tech investments

Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.

Indonesia-listed investment firm PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya Tbk, which has a long track record of backing companies across sectors, is looking to expand its technology portfolio in the coming years, a top executive told DealStreetAsia.

Saratoga Investama investment director Devin Wirawan said the company has allocated around $100-250 million annually for deployment into existing portfolio companies and for new investments. 

“As you can see from our portfolio, particularly the addition of companies in the last year, Saratoga has started making direct investments in tech companies. I think going forward, we will continue to make a bigger bet on the technology companies,” said Wirawan.

Saratoga would typically channel technology investments through its affiliates – early-stage venture firm Skystar Capital and later-stage investor Provident Capital.

But, the investment firm recently made direct investments in tech startups such as P2P lender Julo, e-commerce enabler Sirclo, and insurtech Fuse.

“These are companies that have been groomed by Skystar Capital,” Wirawan said, noting that the companies have grown to a certain size and were ready to raise a bigger cheque size. “That’s when they offer this to Saratoga and during that process, we learn a lot about the tech companies.”

The investment firm had also co-led Jakarta-based solar panel developer startup Xurya’s $21.5 million Series A funding round with East Ventures.

The firm was investing through its closed-ended funds namely Saratoga Asia II and Saratoga Asia III. In 2013, the firm raised $151 million through an IPO in Indonesia. Saratoga Investama provided most of the GP commitment to the $600-million Saratoga Asia III.

According to Wirawan, Asia III expired in 2017 and the firm has not raised closed-ended funds since then.

As it pursues the direct investment strategy, Saratoga is no longer driven by a specific type of exit, he explained, and has been reaping dividends from portfolio firms. In 2021, Saratoga raised a dividend for Rp1.64 trillion ($114.22 million), up 119.44% from 2020.

“We saw a lot of dividend investment from our portfolio companies last year. So we will utilise that to continue to deploy in new investments,” he said.

Founded in 1997 by Edwin Soeryadjaya and Sandiaga Uno, Saratoga Investama has invested in listed firms such as Adaro Energy, telecom tower player Tower Bersama Infrastructure and natural resources company Merdeka Copper Gold. The total market capitalisation of these companies reached over $12 billion in 2021.

Last year, the firm’s profit jumped 182.02% to Rp24.89 trillion ($1.73 billion), driven by yield investment of Rp24.4 trillion ($1.69 billion) and dividend income of Rp1.64 trillion ($114.22 million). Adaro Energy was the main contributor to Saratoga’s dividend income.

The firm is also a backer of healthcare companies Primaya Hospital and Deltomed Laboratories. As reported by DealStreetAsia earlier, Saratoga Investama is in talks to sell its stake in Primaya Hospital ahead of the latter’s potential initial public offering (IPO) this year. Singapore’s GIC is said to be one of the frontrunners to become Primaya Hospital’s newest investor in a transaction worth at least $100 million.

In a wide-ranging interview with DealStreetasia, Wirawan spoke about Saratoga’s investment plan for the year, the current market potential and the IPO landscape in Indonesia.

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