Kopi Kenangan co-founders set up angel investment vehicle to back early-stage startups

Kopi Kenangan co-founder and CEO Edward Tirtanata

The co-founders of Kopi Kenangan, Indonesia’s largest venture-backed F&B chain, have formed an investment vehicle to make selective bets on promising early-stage startups in the country.

The vehicle, called Kenangan Fund, came to light when it was named as one of the investors in the pre-seed round of grocery delivery startup Dropezy last week. 

Prior to that, the fund has quietly backed as many as seven startups including fintech platform Bukukas, healthtech company Klinik Pintar and automotive startup Otoklik, according to Kopi Kenangan co-founder and CEO Edward Tirtanata.

Though the fund carries Kopi Kenangan’s name, Tirtanata clarified that the investments by the vehicle are not linked to Kopi Kenangan’s business and operation. While his company is open to making strategic investments directly out of its balance sheet, it is currently not in the market for such deals.

The vehicle, which was set up in May 2020, pools capital on a per deal basis from the personal funds of the three Kopi Kenangan co-founders – Tirtanata, James Prananto, and Cynthia Chaerunnisa, as well as a few other friends.

The vehicle cuts angel investment cheques ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 though it has also made an investment of $150,000 in one company.

Despite having clocked nearly 8 investments in under a year, Tirtanata said the fund does not actively source deals. It co-invests along with seasoned investors and friends. Its investment approach is “simply opportunistic in nature.”

“We are pretty agnostic. If we think it can be something big, then we invest. It’s as simple as that,” he said.

Non-capital support

Given their experience building Kopi Kenangan, Tirtanata and his fellow co-founders are hoping they are able to not only identify promising businesses but also help them scale.

Since it was founded in 2018, Kopi Kenangan has raised around $237 million of total funding, backed by over 14 investors including Alpha JWC, Sequoia Capital and B Capital. In 2020, the company has more than 400 stores across 26 cities in Indonesia and claims to sell around 30 million cups in a year.

Tirtanata, who at times also goes solo with his angel investing, emphasised that investing and helping portfolio companies will always be done in ways that do not interfere with his main job. Kopi Kenangan co-founders typically mentor portfolio company founders on technology, product development and fundraising aspects.  

“We come in very early when not many VCs can come and help. So I feel that when reputable VCs come in, then my job is done,” he said.

Founders-cum-investors

Kopi Kenangan’s founders are not the only ones who have forayed into angel investing in Indonesia. DealStreetAsia has previously reported on the increasing number of founders who have put money into other startups in their personal capacity.

Some active founders that are known to have placed bets in other startups include Investree’s Adrian Gunadi, DigiAsia Bios’ Alexander Rusli and Koinworks’ Willy Arifin.

Many of these founders-cum-angel investors see early-stage tech startups as a promising investment asset class and also a way to give back to the startup ecosystem.

However, none of them are known to have set up a dedicated vehicle yet for their angel investments.

Init6, the investment vehicle managed by former Bukalapak co-founders Achmad Zaky and Nugroho Herucahyono (Xinuc), is structured similar to the Kopi Kenangan vehicle. The pair, who grew e-commerce startup Bukalapak from scratch to a $2-billion firm, say they pool their personal capital for investments through the Init6 vehicle.

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.