Indonesia state-owned lender BRI to acquire VC firm

Photo: REUTERS/Garry Lotulung

Indonesia’s state-owned lender Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) is in the process of acquiring a venture capital firm, local media website Indotelko reported. The due diligence is currently underway and is expected to conclude this year.

“(The acquisition is) considering that we don’t have VC and security subsidiaries yet. We continue to focus on expanding and strengthening our subsidiary units,” BRI president director Suprajarto was quoted in the report as saying.

Meanwhile, Dailysocial reported that the bank is lining up Rp 500 billion ($37 million) for its expansion. A part of the money will be allocated for the VC buyout.

It is very likely that the new VC arm will be headed by Indra Utoyo, a former director for innovation and strategic portfolio at Telkom, whom BRI appointed last March as its operational director.

Utoyo had been responsible for Telkom’s digital business development, including the firm’s VC arm MDI Ventures, for several years.

BRI joins the club of Indonesian banks – state-owned and private – that have set up their own VC arms to venture into fintech.

Bank Mandiri was among the first to launch its investment arm in 2015. Since then, Mandiri Capital Indonesia (MCI) has invested in about 5-6 fintech startups, deploying around Rp 150-200 billion of capital per year.

In January this year, private lender Bank Central Asia (BCA) launched a venture capital business unit called Central Capital Ventura (CCV). It has committed Rp 200 billion ($15 million) in investments so far.

According to market observers, total investment into the Indonesian fintech industry is expected to reach $8 billion by 2018. Authorities and players alike have been working together to embrace the boom, launching new regulations and injecting capital into the sector.

Also Read:

Indonesia: Bank Central Asia launches VC unit, to invest $15m in fintech

Indonesia lender BRI hires Telkom exec to boost fintech, to form VC unit

Indonesia: Moka gets $2m from in Mandiri Capital-led round

Indonesian startup Jukir acquires fintech firm Wallezz Finansial

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.