Singtel's Indonesia partner launches $54.7m fund

Telkomsel president director Ririek Adriansyah (above) says the telco's partnership with MDI Ventures and Singtel Innov8 will make it easier for regional start-ups in need of access to strategic capital.
Telkomsel president director Ririek Adriansyah (above) says the telco's partnership with MDI Ventures and Singtel Innov8 will make it easier for regional start-ups in need of access to strategic capital.PHOTO: SINGTEL

Fund by Telkomsel and venture capital partners will drive growth for start-ups around region

Singtel's regional associate in Indonesia has created a new fund with an initial budget of US$40 million (S$54.7 million) to invest in start-ups around the region and undertake other initiatives.

The fund was set up by Telkomsel in collaboration with its venture capital (VC) initiative MDI Ventures and Singtel's corporate VC arm Innov8.

The move will also involve setting up a corporate venture arm to forge partnerships with start-ups.

It will invest in "young, promising companies" and help accelerate their growth by providing access to Telkomsel's ecosystem, assets and expertise.

Telkomsel president director Ririek Adriansyah said the partnership with MDI Ventures and Singtel Innov8 will allow Telkomsel to make it easier for start-ups seeking access to the telco's strategic capital, as well as offer a better user experience by forging alliances.

Mr Andi Kristianto, chief executive of the new corporate venture arm, said the entity will work closely with start-ups to establish a plan that will maximise long-term value and provide market insights from both the enterprise and consumer perspectives in Indonesia.

"It also gives a leg up in terms of corporate awareness in a digital business ecosystem," he said.

The unit has developed into a corporate growth vehicle for Telkom Indonesia.

It has had one initial public offering exit in the Tokyo Stock Exchange and two trade sale exits within three years.

Singtel Innov8 chief executive Edgar Hardless said that with more start-ups looking to expand into South-east Asia earlier in their journey, Telkomsel's strong local market presence makes it well positioned to help them gain access to Indonesia.

Telkomsel has already worked with more than 5,000 start-ups across 20 cities in Indonesia through its NextDev programme.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2019, with the headline 'Singtel's Indonesia partner launches $54.7m fund'. Print Edition | Subscribe