The Jakarta Post
To grow, digital technology start-ups require venture capital and that is what several foreign investors have provided for various local start-ups.
The investors injected the venture capital into selected qualified start-ups, categorized as unicorns, or a privately held start-up valued at over US$1 billion, several years ago.
However, a change is taking place regarding digital technology start-ups to ensure sustainable growth.
“In today’s digital tech business ecosystem, the landscape has shifted from growth at all cost, to sustainable growth. The name unicorn has been adapted from Silicon Valley, which might no longer sit well with today’s ecosystem. Indonesia needs Sembrani, a symbol for Indonesian start-ups,” said Nicko Widjaja, CEO of PT BRI Ventura Investama (BRI Ventures), a subsidiary of BRI.
Nicko released the written remark in conjunction with the launch of Dana Ventura Sembrani Nusatara (Nusantara Venture Capital) in Jakarta on June 24.
With the launch of Dana Ventura Sembrani Nusantara, BRI Ventures aims to realize its commitment to provide easy access to venture capital for digital tech micro, small and medium enterprises (UMKMs) start-ups.
The breakthrough is also in line with the strategy that Bank BRI, as the holding company, has set to empower UMKMs.
Dana Ventura Sembrani Nusantara is expected to accelerate the expansion of local start-ups by delivering digital technology-based products and services, both online and offline.
The funding will be focused on seed-growth, comprising seed funding and venture capital Series A.
“The philosophy behind BRI Ventures investment is ‘value over valuation’ in which our focus is seeking businesses with strong fundamentals. The funding will be channeled to start-ups that already produce products, have income from their operations and have a clear business strategy toward profit,” Nicko explained.
Sembrani Nusantara’s funding will be focused on five sectors, known by the acronym EARTH (Education, Agro-Maritime, Retail, Transportation and Health) across Indonesia.
Through Sembrani Nusantara, BRI Ventures is set to raise Rp 300 billion from investors that will be distributed in the form of participating shares for start-ups in Indonesia. The investors may come from investment fund managers, private companies or state-owned enterprises.
Sembrani Nusantara has gained approval from the Financial Services Authority (OJK).
“Dana Ventura targets digital technology-based UMKM as pioneers in Indonesia. We are pleased to be part of the development of venture capital. We hope the industry becomes increasingly open in the next several years so that more people understand the digital landscape, which can eventually spur the growth of digital economy,” Nicko said.
The name Sembrani Nusantara was chosen as a philosophical symbol of local start-ups in the future, in which Sembrani, a horse that Batara Wisnu (Batara of Vishnu) rides, as in the wayang story, represents a unicorn with local wisdom that corresponds to the demography focus of start-ups that derive from across Nusantara (the Archipelago).
With the motto, ‘“Unlocking Nusantara Potential’, Dana Ventura Sembrani Nusantara has demonstrated BRI Ventures’ commitment in supporting digital ecosystem growth.
Previously, BRI Ventures injected Rp 1.5 trillion into start-ups, with the disbursement conducted in stages.
BRI Ventures will prepare US$250 million or Rp 3.5 trillion (Rp 14,000 per 1US$) and will play the role of investor to build financial technology (fintech), especially when it comes to the ecosystem.
Investing in start-ups will give strategic benefits and value, especially in developing the digital ecosystem. For further information on BRI Ventures, please visit: www.briventures.id