Top Indonesian entrepreneurs set up early-stage VC firm Kolibra Capital

Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Arga Aditya/unsplash

The steady stream of new venture capital players in Indonesia shows no sign of ebbing. The latest to join the fray is the brainchild of three serial investors, namely Teezar Firmansyah, Tokopedia co-founder and director Leontinus Alpha Edison and Ciputra conglomerate heir Nararya Ciputra Sastrawinata.

Kolibra Capital, as the firm is called, has launched its inaugural VC fund that will invest in post-seed stage startups by leveraging the expertise and networks of its founding partners.

Established earlier this year, Kolibra is not the first collaboration for Alpha Edison, Ciputra Sastrawinata and Firmansyah. They have previously invested together since 2016.

Firmansyah, who until recently headed Indonesia Investments for Singapore’s Credence Private Equity, will be heading Kolibra Capital’s operations while the other two founding partners intend to continue their day jobs.

“From our experience since 2016, we believe that investment is not just about the money. What is needed by founders is brainstorming partners, so we want to make Kolibra a collaboration platform for our portfolio companies, to enable them to collaborate with us and our networks,” said Firmansyah.

Firmansyah did not disclose the target size of the fund but revealed that it has so far received the backing of an incubator, a family fund, and fund of funds based in Indonesia and overseas.

The firm has already started deploying from the fund. Portfolio companies include Singapore-based digital insurance company Axinan, Malaysian automobile platform Carsome, on-demand laundry service provider Ahlijasa and accommodation booking platform Travelio.

Firmansyah said Kolibra is currently monitoring about 20 deals but it could be a while before the next one materialises as the firm claims to adopt a more meticulous and collaboration-oriented investment approach than most of its peers.

The VC’s recent investment in Ahlijasa materialised after three months of collaboration with its founders to fine-tune the business, Firmansyah points out. That has helped the company achieve 25 per cent month-on-month growth after the funding. Kolibra also takes credit for turbocharging the growth of Carsome’s Indonesia operations.

“Our investment process is probably different to other VCs. We take longer because we really want to help the founders to make sure they can come up with a better business model,” Firmansyah said.

Kolibra, which describes its investment as sector-agnostic, focuses predominantly on pre-Series A and Series A investments with ticket sizes of $500,000 to $1 million. The firm does not rule out opportunistic investments in seed and Series B companies and is looking to invest in a maximum of 20 companies through its first fund.

Among those that have recently raised new funds include Kejora Ventures, which closed undisclosed amount of second fund. Another local VC firm, Alpha JWC, meanwhile, is understood to be raising a $100 million second fund.

Kolibra is one of a few newly formed venture capital firms that have started their investment this year. Other newcomers in the Indonesian VC space include Agaeti Venture Capital, which has closed a $10 million fund, and Latittude Venture Partners, a VC arm of conglomerate Sinar Mas with $200 million corpus.

Also Read:

Indonesia’s Travelio secures $4m Series A round led by Vynn Capital

Indonesian e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia loses top executive

Indonesia’s Kejora Ventures hits final close for second fund

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.