Indonesian early-stage VC Kinesys sees new post-COVID investment trends

Kinesys Group’s founder Yansen Kamto (right) and managing partner Steven Vanada.

Indonesian early-stage venture capital firm, Kinesys Group, has added new perspectives to its investment philosophy in the wake of COVID-19’s impact on consumer behaviour and consumption.

Kinesys managing partner Steven Vanada told DealStreetAsia that he sees two trends appearing amid the pandemic. 

“First, there is a shift from centralisation to decentralisation. We only focused on big cities like Jakarta [in the past], and didn’t see the growth in second- and third-tier cities. [Post-COVID], we see that people’s consumption will be more fragmented. A second trend is that consumers are going touchless, which decreases the human layers, as people use more technology and apps,” Vanada said.

Based on the two trends, Kinesys will look more deeply into potential startup investments, without limiting itself to any specific sectors. Yet, the VC firm sees more opportunities in the education, supply chain, and entertainment sectors.

“We’re doing a lot of due diligence in the vertical edtech business. We also see that the supply chain sector is attractive because it is easier to digitise transactions and [shift consumer] behaviour from traditional to digital. There are a lot of potential deals in supply chain,” he added. 

Kinesys’ founder Yansen Kamto added that the company will invest in at least two entertainment-related media startups this year.

“COVID accelerated [the adoption of] a lot of digital content platforms, including lifestyle and entertainment sites. Some verticals, like sport and wellness, beauty and skincare, music, and new media, are exciting. And so are gaming and e-sport streaming platforms. Those are the sectors that have few [local] players, and many Indonesians consume those contents from outside. The sector is also an opportunity for local startup founders to explore,” Kamto explained. 

Backed and supported by Northstar co-founder and managing director Patrick Walujo, Kinesys plans to expand its portfolio to 20 companies, from the current 15, by end-2020, Kamto said.

Established in the final quarter of 2019, Kinesys had plans to close its $20-million maiden fund by March this year, which has been delayed due to COVID-19, Vanada said.

Since early this year, the firm has made over 10 startup investments, focusing on seed- to pre-series A rounds. The ticket size is around $ 200,000-500,000 per deal. The firm’s portfolio includes edtech company Zenius, social commerce startup Chilibeli, Muslim needs app Umma, new retail startup Wahyoo, and F&B company Goola. 

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.