Indonesian state lender BRI to raise holding in VC firm Bahana Artha Ventura

Indonesian state-owned lender Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) is planning to raise its stake in venture capital firm Bahana Artha Ventura to a majority control of around 65 percent, as part of its plan to roll out its own VC arm. 

“The first step is done. We already have 35 per cent stake. We are processing the second step to raise it to a majority stake of around 65%. We’re still in the negotiation stage. It should be finalized this year,” BRI finance director Haru Koesmahhargyo told DEALSTREETASIA.

The initial 35 per cent stake in Bahana was acquired by BRI late last year for a reported Rp 71 billion. Haru said both parties have yet to agree on the price of the additional stake, but suggested that the figure would be derived from Bahana’s asset and capital, which is valued at around Rp 1 trillion and Rp 400 billion, respectively.

Once the transaction is completed, BRI, as the majority shareholder, will look to have more control over the operations of the company, including the raising and deployment of funds for investment.

Haru added that fintech is one of the verticals the fund will be targeting, but said that it would also look at other sectors that would support the core business of the bank.

“What’s important is that it can provide support to the holding company, BRI, whether it is directly related to financial services or non-financial services such as business process digitalization,” he said.

The venture capital arm will not be solely focused on startup investments, Haru said. It will also manage funds to be deployed for small financial institutions and cooperatives in various regions, as part of an effort to support government programs.

“It will be both strategic and financial. It will be profit oriented – the profit can be direct financial profit but also indirect financial profit. We are also looking for social profit, social benefit,” he said.

In branching out into the venture capital space, BRI will be following the lead of fellow state-owned lender Bank Mandiri, which established its venture capital arm, Mandiri Capital Indonesia, in 2016. Last year private lender BCA also set up its own VC vehicle called Central Capital Ventura.

As far as state-owned firms are concerned, Telkom Indonesia was the digital ventures pioneer, with its VC subsidiary MDI Ventures, founded in 2015.

Haru said unlike Bank Mandiri and Telkom, BRI has decided to acquire an existing VC firm as it would be a faster way to roll out its venture capital business. Furthermore, in Bahana, BRI says it sees the “ideal” firm due to its license and its subsidiary presence nationwide.

With its 35 per cent stake, BRI is currently the second-largest shareholder in Bahana. The majority shareholder is financial institution PT Bahana Pembina Usaha Indonesia (BPUI), while the remaining stake is owned by BPUI labour union’s cooperative.

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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.