Our week at Inc42 began with an exclusive conversation with Sebastian Togelang, the founding partner of early-stage VC firm based out of Indonesia, Kejora Ventures. He shared anecdotes and information about what it takes to be a VC in Indonesia, the startups evolving there, and how companies can maximise on growth and development in the island nation, and more.
Here’s more on what transpired in the Indonesian startup ecosystem this week:
Google Launchpad Accelerator Selects 3 Indonesian Startups For 4th Batch
The fourth batch of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Programme counts three Indonesian startups in its Southeast Asian batch. A total of nine startups have been selected from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The selected Indonesian startups are online lending platform Cicil, Point of Sale portal Nadipos, and ecommerce enabler Sirclo.
The selected startups will become a part of the six-month mentorship programme, and will receive $50K in equity-free funding, a two-week all-expenses paid boot camp at Google Headquarters, and six months of ongoing mentorship and access to Google’s full suite of products.
Teleco Giant Indosat Ooredoo Shuts Down Ecommerce Arm Cipika
Indonesia-based telecom company, Indosat Ooredoo has decided to cease operations of its ecommerce vertical, Cipika.
Launched in 2014, Cipika sold electronics items on its platform. The ecommerce marketplace will stop operations from June 1, 2017. Additionally, Indosat’s cashless payments platform, Dompetku has also been rebranded as PayPro. With an independent e-payments license, it will now operate as a separate entity from Indosat Ooredoo.
These developments on Indosat’s part comes with an aim to further strengthen its network and digital business via strategic partnerships.
Grab Launches Car Pooling Service In Indonesia, GrabHitch
As a part of its Grab For Indonesia 2020 plan, the Singapore-based ride hailing platform has launched a new car pooling service in the archipelago. It has launched a social carpooling service called GrabHitch, under which travellers with extra space in their cars can pick up fellow ‘hitch buddy’ (commuters) who share similar route or destination.
The service would work somewhere along the lines of Lyft, a US-based ride sharing platform.
As per a report by Deal Street Asia, the new carpooling service would require advance booking, and Grab will match hitch buddy requests to drivers, commuting on similar ways. The shared rides can be scheduled from 15 minutes up to 7 days in advance. Drivers are only allowed to accept a maximum two rides a day.
Grab would not take any profits under the same and drivers can share the costs of their daily commute with other commuters. When the 2020 master plan was launched, Grab committed an investment of $ 700 Mn in Indonesia over the next four years. It also acquired the Indonesian payments startup Kudo earlier this year in February.
Edtech Startup Ruangguru Raises Undisclosed Funding
Indonesian edtech startup Ruangguru recently announced that it secured a new round of funding from GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund, a startup fund operated by global mobile operator trade body GSMA.
As per an e27 report, the startup will use the raised funds to launch its mobile-based marketplace for personalised private tutors. The marketplace will also allow tutors to create and share content with their students. The content would be accessible on a freemium model.
Launched in 2014, the website claims to be the largest online marketplace for private tutoring in Indonesia. It previously secured an undisclosed amount in its Series A round of funding from Venturra Capital in December 2015.
Global Founders Capital To Invest Upto $10 Mn In 2017
Germany-based VC firm Global Founders Capital (GFC), the venture investment arm of internet giant Rocket Internet is reportedly in talks to invest upto $10 Mn in Indonesian startups this year.
GFC has earlier invested in Indonesian travel marketplace Traveloka. Rocket Internet also raised a $1 Bn fund recently. Further the investment would typically range between early stage to Series A, the Deal Street Asia report stated.