Indonesia to open dialogue with Korea, Japan to form venture council

Jefri Sirait

Indonesia is considering starting talks with Korea and Japan to form a council for venture capital firms, the Indonesian VC and startup association (AMVESINDO) chairman Jefri Sirait told this portal.

The council is intended to be a forum to connect investors, regulators, players, and all the industry stakeholders in Indonesia, Korea, and Japan.

“The first function of the council is to share, the second function is to connect, and the third is to improve capabilities of each country. We are evaluating a dialogue on the same with these two countries since last year,” Sirait said.

In August, Singapore and Indonesia that were joined by Thailand in October launched the ASEAN Venture Council, a collaboration between venture capital associations in the ASEAN countries. The council was spearheaded by the Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (SVCA), and included AMVESINDO and Thai Venture Capital Association (TVCA) as members.

The ASEAN Venture Council, in particular, is aimed to assist its member associations and their members to promote venture capital across the region.  This is set against an industry that has seen phenomenal growth in the past few years, with the bulk deals being cross-border in nature.

The proposed council will be an umbrella organization consisting of venture associations interested in the promotion of the ASEAN Venture Capital Ecosystem.  It is intended to enable its member associations to promote and develop the venture capital industry in a more concerted way across the region leveraging each other’s strengths and capabilities – particularly in the areas of events, advocacy, research, education and deal flow.

20% growth in 2017

Sirait said AMVESINDO’s VC members have collectively targeted 20 per cent growth in investments this year. In 2016, the total investment for tech-based startups alone reached Rp 2 trillion ($150 million), 66 per cent higher than Rp 1.2 trillion ($90 million) investment in 2015.

“Financing and equity participation rose quite significantly last year,” Sirait said, without revealing the detailed portions.

“What has become one of our homework this year is that we need to convince our members that transparency (for financial performance and investments) is important for the industry. We want to push them so that they can be more open starting this year,” he added.

Astra Mitra Ventura, the investment arm of Indonesia’s conglomerate group Astra International led by Sirait, doubled its sales with 20 per cent growth in profit last year. Meanwhile, its non-performance investment (NPI) stood at only 1.3 per cent due to prudent investment strategy, Sirait said.

This year, AMVESINDO’s main agenda is to set up a national VC fund to invest in tech-based early-stage businesses across the country, which would require about Rp20 trillion ($1.5 billion) of annual investments. The association has been in discussions with the coordinating ministry for economic affairs for almost a year to push the fund. Sirait said that the fund would be backed by both the public and private sector.

Also Read:

Indonesia: AMVESINDO pushes for national VC fund, says startups need $1.5b a year

Convergence Ventures closes $30m Indonesia-focussed VC fund

Thailand, Indonesia formalise membership in ASEAN Venture Council

South-East Asia is under-penetrated by VCs compared to India: David Gowdey, Jungle Ventures

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.