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

Indra Utoyo, director of BRI

State-owned lender Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) has appointed Indra Utoyo, a director for innovation and strategic portfolio at another state-owned firm Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), as operational director.

Utoyo has been brought on board to oversee the lender’s current digital development, a bank’s official said.

Utoyo has been responsible for Telkom’s digital business development – including the firm’s VC arm MDI Ventures – over the past several years.

To further increase its pace in catching up with the digital world, BRI is also mulling over a plan to set up a venture capital unit geared to micro-businesses.

BRI deputy president director Sunarso stated that, as a bank, BRI must continue to adapt to challenges and changes in the market. “Boundaries are disappearing between the banking sector and the telecom sector,” he said, as quoted by Nikkei.

“BRI will stay focused on the micro, small and medium segments. Among the challenges in the fintech industry is how to lower prices by improving efficiency — which requires digitalisation.”

Indonesian major banks are realising that joining hands with the fintech sector is inescapable. And, BRI is the latest bank to join the race.

Bank Mandiri was among the first to launch its investment arm back 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) for the initial stage. CCV, 100 per cent owned by BCA, will invest in and collaborate with fintech and supporting companies that will “support BCA’s financial service ecosystem as well as that of BCA’s subsidiaries, and who will give added value to BCA’s customers.”

Also Read:

Grab Indonesia to develop mobile payments, partner with fintech companies: Ridzki Kramadibrata

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

Fintech can help boost Indonesia’s creative sector: BEKRAF

‘Indonesia’s Fintech investment to reach $8b in 2 years’

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.