Ribbit Capital-backed Ajaib eyes depth in Indonesia's stock investment game amid competition

Ribbit Capital-backed Ajaib eyes depth in Indonesia's stock investment game amid competition

Indonesian online stock brokerage platform Ajaib Group, which raised $90 million in possibly the largest-ever Series A round by a Southeast Asian startup, is looking to go “really deep” in its fintech play that has attracted considerable interest from the country’s top unicorns.

With only 1% of Indonesia’s over 260 million population investing in stocks, tech giants like Gojek, Grab, Tokopedia and Bukalapak have rolled out stock investment offerings to tap this enormous opportunity.

Ajaib co-founder and CEO Anderson Sumarli is, however, unfazed. Given their non-fintech core business, the incoming unicorns are unlikely to be able to go deep in their stock investment product – something that is Ajaib’s mainstay.

“Do you want to go broader or do you want to go deep? We’re choosing to go deep into investments, and in particular with stocks. So that’s what we’re going to be investing in in the next few years,” said Sumarli, whose venture is backed by Robinhood investor Ribbit Capital, as well as Horizons Ventures and SoftBank Ventures.

Among the plans for Ajaib going forward is to expand its reach into the country’s tier two and three cities, where he believes the bulk of the opportunity lies. Indian counterparts Zerodha and Groww, Sumarli noted, saw the majority of their growth coming from second and third-tier cities. He expects a similar trend to unfold in Indonesia.

Despite the low retail participation in Indonesia’s stock market, the trajectory in recent years has been encouraging. According to the Indonesia Central Securities Depository (KSEI) data, 1.68 million new investors joined the market, up 53% from 2019.

The reported IPO plans of some of Indonesia’s tech companies are bound to further boost the number, particularly given that 70% of the beginners in the stock market in 2020 were millennials or those aged 18-40. Sumarli says he is a huge proponent of local listings by Indonesia’s tech startups, many of whom have also been weighing the option of going public overseas.

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