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Jakarta Post

BCA selects diverse eight start-ups as fintech trainees

  • Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 21, 2019   /   01:27 pm
 BCA selects diverse eight start-ups as fintech trainees Posing in front of the SYNERGY logo in Jakarta on Wednesday are (from left) Digitaraya vice president for strategy Nicole Yap, Bank Central Asia (BCA) finance director Vera Eve Lim, BCA vice president director Armand W. Hartono, BCA president director Jahja Setiaatmadja and KUMPUL CEO Faye Alund. BCA is collaborating with start-up accelerator program Digitaraya, which is powered by tech giant Google, to launch a new accelerator project called SYNRGY as an innovation hub for startups. (Antara/Audy Alwi)

Private lender Bank Central Asia (BCA) unveiled on Wednesday the first batch of eight financial technology (fintech) companies to join its start-up accelerator program, which is part of the bank’s Synergy fintech innovation project launched in March.

The program, run by Google-backed accelerator Digitaraya, will bring in various experts from local digital economy players, including Go-Jek and Tokopedia, to train the eight businesses on marketing, building IT infrastructure and investor networking, among other skills.

BCA deputy president director Armand Hartono revealed the eight start-ups in Jakarta. They are AgenKan, Amalan, Bamms, Bizhare, Crowde, IndoGold, Jari and Kendi.

Even though they are all fintech companies, they offer different financial services, showing the breadth of BCA’s fintech expansion ambitions.

Crowde is a peer-to-peer lender focused on farmers, Amalan helps debtors haggle down overdue bank loans, IndoGold trades gold, AgenKan enables mom-and-pop shops to sell financial services and Bamm sells building management software.

“Once the start-ups are in [our ecosystem], they will automatically generate new [BCA] accounts,” said Armand. “If we can help people open stores, they will automatically open an account with us and, little by little, as their businesses grow, money will flow inwards.”

The start-ups are expected to add hundreds of new account holders to BCA. IndoGold alone has some 600,000 users as of February, while Crowde is used by about 10,000 farmers and fishermen as of last year.

Armand noted that central bank regulations prohibited BCA from directly investing in the eight start-ups, but BCA’s venture capital investment arm, Central Capital Ventura (CCV), may do so during a pitch deck slated for September.

Digitaraya vice president Nicole Yap said in a statement: “The diversity of the eight chosen start-ups indicates that there is a very big opportunity to push Indonesia’s economy and tap into a new, wider market through technology.”