Across the world, investment for AI startups is increasing steadily. According to a study by PwC and CB Insights, the venture capital funds for AI startups have increased by 72 per cent in 2018 and reached $9.3 billion.
The Indonesian startup environment started thriving as early as 2010 and over the year, this small South-East Asian country has turned itself into a hub for the new and emerging tech startups. In another study by Google and Temasek, Indonesia has the largest digital economy which is forecasted to be tripled from US$27 billion in 2018 to US$100 billion by 2025.
Due to its large tech-savvy population, the country has also turned itself into a hub for VCs to invest in numerous startups that provides varied AI and ML-powered solutions. According to the Google study, e-commerce and fintech companies received the maximum funding with, AI-powered platforms tech-stacks bettering their service. Increasingly, more startups who are working in the field of NLP has also received a major boost from VCs
Among the popular ones, Go-Jek, Traveloka, Bukalapak and Takopedia are some of the early names that have made a mark in the country, thus inspiring several others to take up the startup journey.
In this article, we take a look at the popular VCA from the country and their investments in the past.
GDP Venture: Founded in 2010, the ventures capitalist focuses on digital communities, media, commerce and solution companies in the Indonesian consumer internet industry. It also focuses on startups in the South, specifically South East Asia. Since 2016, it has made close to 10 investments and has also raised money for a number of AI startups. Recently GDP it has closed a Series B funding for Singapore-based AI startup, 6Estates, an AI-driven intelligence company. In 2018, the venture capitalist raised $12 million in Series A funding forElement Inc, a US-based AI startup that develops and distributes a mobile-based software platform that creates a biometric identity.
MDI Ventures : Headquartered in Asia-Pacific (APAC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Southeast Asia, MDI Ventures was founded in 2015 and is a corporate venture capital initiative by Telkom Indonesia, the VC arm of state-owned telecom firm Telkom Indonesia. In the past, the venture capitalists have invested in companies in the online, media, and mobile internet space. In the past, the capitalists have led 33 investments, targeting startups from various sectors. Recently, Indonesia-based AI smart city startup, Qlue raised an undisclosed amount of funding from MDI Ventures.
Convergences ventures: This is an early stage technology venture fund, which focuses on investing in Indonesia’s disruptive startups. The firm set up in 2014, have partners from the US, China and Indonesia and have backed several startups over the year. Since its inception, the VC firm has made 36 investments in startups that focus on emerging technologies like AI and ML. Till the date, the firm has supported AI startups in Indonesia with their biggest round of funding going to Kata.ai in 2017, which targets the B2B segment through its Bahasa Indonesia-speaking chatbots
Ventura Capital: Targets South-East Asian startups that are focused on consumer technology-enabled internet businesses. Founded in 2015, the firm is headquartered in Jakarta and aims to provide capital, operational empowerment, and market access to founders startups catering to E-commerce, fintech, edtech, and health tech startups. Since its inception, the firm has made 25 investments.
Skystar Capital: This is a venture capital firm that focuses on technology-driven startups in the Asia Pacific region. SKystar collaborates with founders and provides the startups required assistance in the form of customised, strategic business advice and professional partnerships. Till its inception in 2014, it has made 12 investments so far and has targetted several AI, including the likes PHI Integration, a data management and analytics startup for an undisclosed amount
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Akshaya Asokan works as a Technology Journalist at Analytics India Magazine. She has previously worked with IDG Media and The New Indian Express. When not writing, she can be seen either reading or staring at a flower.