Following its recent lead investment in the Series B round for Indonesian P2P company Investree, Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings said it is looking to make three or four more investments in Southeast Asia’s largest market by the end of the year.
Speaking exclusively to DEALSTREETASIA on the sidelines of a recent event, SBI Holdings’ chief representative in Indonesia, Kento Tokimori, said that the company had made up to five venture investments in Indonesia since 2011, but is now looking to almost double its tally by the end of the year.
SBI’s plan to step up its investment activity in Indonesia was signalled earlier this year when it opened a representative office in Jakarta to gain better insight and access to the country’s startups.
“We just launched an office this February in Jakarta. So we have started to invest more and focus more on the Indonesia market,” said Tokimori.
Apart from Investree, SBI’s portfolio in Indonesia includes fellow fintech firm Taralite, which bagged a funding of $6.3 million from the Japanese company. The other Indonesia startups SBI has backed operate in the logistics and palm oil sectors.
Going forward, Tokimori said SBI’s investment in Indonesia will focus more on Series A and B funding for fintech companies, but he did not rule out opportunities in other verticals, particularly artificial intelligence and blockchain.
“The focus is fintech because financial inclusion is a problem for Indonesian people, so we see a huge potential there,” he said.
SBI Group is one of the largest VC/PE investment firms based in Japan and has been expanding its presence in emerging markets, including Southeast Asia.
In 2016, it acquired a 35 per cent stake and subsequently became a co-fund manager in ICCP Venture Partners Inc (IVPI), the venture capital arm of Philippine-based financial services and property development firm, ICCP Group.
Last month, the Japanese firm formed a joint venture fund with Malaysia-based private equity firm OSK Ventures with an initial commitment of $20 million. The fund, named OSK-SBI Dynamic Growth Fund, will see both partners contribute equally and on investments in private startups in the ASEAN region.
Tokimori said the investments in Indonesia could be made using these Southeast Asia joint venture funds, or from the company’s other funds such as its Japan fintech fund.
Recently, SBI Holdings, which is also regarded as a fintech pioneer in Japan, formed a joint venture deal with Ping An subsidiary OneConnect, among the largest fintech SaaS platforms in China. Under the terms of the agreement, SBI Group will hold 60 per cent in the joint venture while OneConnect and An Ke, another wholly owned subsidiary of Ping An Group, will jointly own 40 per cent.