Indonesia telecom operator Telkom’s venture arm, Metra Digital Innovation (MDI) Ventures, said it will allocate Rp 300 billion ($25 million) to invest in 10 startups this year. The move is part of state-owned Telkom’s initiative to enable innovation and build synergy with the group’s core business.
MDI chief executive officer Nicko Widjaja said, the firm is is aiming to take five to six new startups under its wings soon.
“We are still in the due dilligence process. We are targeting about 10-15 startups operating in various sectors such as sales, big data, and deep learning this year,” said Widjaja.
MDI Ventures focuses on investments that enhance digital experience such as digital ads, big data, payment solutions, cloud computing, e-commerce, blockchain, and internet of things.
Founded just last year, the company is headquartered in Jakarta with operations in Singapore and Silicon Valley.
Meanwhile, Telkom’s own startup incubator Indigo, which is also jointly operated by MDI Ventures, is mentoring 40 startups with a budget of IDR 100 billion.
Assisting startups from early prototype stage and providing guidance through customer, product, and business model validation stage, Indigo will be sending three startups it mentored to Silicon Valley next week as part of its immersion program.
“The program’s biggest aspiration is to enable innovation at the earliest stage of development, as one of the catalysts in building Indonesia’s startup ecosystem,” said Ery Punta, Deputy Executive of General Manager of Indigo.
Telkom Group, which has a mobile subscriber base of 150 million, had committed to support at least 200 startups in 2016, especially those with high synergy value to the group’s businesses.