JAKARTA, 27th March 2020 — Since the finding of the first two cases of COVID-19 in early March, the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus keeps growing in Indonesia. Today, almost 900 cases of infection announced.
One of the biggest obstacles met by Indonesia to contain the spread of the COVID-19 is test kits availability. Limited numbers of test kits available in the nation making it difficult for Indonesia to aggressively trace the spread of the virus, a strategy proven effective in Singapore and South Korea.
Nusantics, a deep-tech startup in the field of genomic and one of East Ventures portfolio company, currently developing a test kit to detect COVID-19 infection as a member of Technological Research and Innovation Task Force for COVID-19 under Indonesia Technology Assessment and Application Agency (BPPT).
In the next 3 weeks, Nusantics will use the company resource and capability in the field of genomics to develop a qPCR test kit that is designed specifically for Indonesia population. The company is committed to produce 100 test kit prototypes, continue with mass production of 100,000 test kits.
At the same time, Nusantics also plan to run whole genome sequencing to profile the SARS-CoV-2 virus genomic. Genomic mapping is essential because virus is continuously mutating to adapt to its host and environment.
The whole genome sequence derived from the research will be critical for COVID-19 vaccine research and development in Indonesia. Nusantics also plan to use the data to validate the test kits they develop and also other test kits that will be used in Indonesia.
Recognizing the opportunity to join the battle against COVID-19 pandemics, East Ventures launches Indonesia Pasti Bisa as a platform to mobilize the company’s digital ecosystem in supporting Nusantics and BPPT Task Force efforts.
Having involved in Indonesia’s digital economy development for 10 years, East Ventures has built an ecosystem of investors, companies, communities, dan founders from Indonesia and abroad. The company will leverage its network to establish a collaboration against Covid-19 epidemics.
Fundraising by East Ventures
As a start, East Ventures will lead fundraising targeting an amount of IDR 10 billion. The fund will be used to produce 100,000 test kits (IDR 9 billion) and finance the whole genome sequencing project (IDR 1 billion).
The Public can participate in this movement by accessing Indonesiapastibisa.com to donate money, equipment, or skill. The crowdfunding will be start on Monday, 30th March 2020, 09.00 AM WIB.
Indonesia Pasti Bisa will be run based on principals of responsibility, accountability, and transparency. East Ventures will make sure that every party delivers their commitment and work based on result-oriented principal. Progress and the result will be continuously monitored, including the distribution, utilization, and reliability of the test kits.
KoinWorks, a trusted and licensed fintech company, joining as an accountability partner to provide and manage the crowdsourcing platform. The fund will be disbursed directly to vendors providing materials and equipment for the project, and audited by an independent third party.
IDN Media will be involved as a transparency partner. Progress and result of the project will be published weekly. Every donation will be announced in the website with the amount and a timestamp.
East Ventures inviting every part of Indonesian society to play an active role to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia. Because if not us, then who? If not now, then when?
Co-founder and Managing Partner East Ventures Willson Cuaca said, “This is the first time East Ventures lead a non-profit fundraising. We informed about Nusantics involvement in BPPT task force on Sunday (22/3). The news makes us want to do more to mobilize our digital ecosystem to support them. Each of East Ventures portfolio company has various expertise in different industries. By taking a small part of those expertise, we are able to create an innovative platform, Indonesia Pasti Bisa. Koinworks contributes their capability in compliance and disbursement management, IDN Media provides their outreaches and storytelling skill, while deep-tech bioscience company Nusantics act as the spearhead.”
“By building a platform founded by principals of result-oriented, accountability dan transparency, we hope everyone would move to participate against COVID-19 by donating and collaborate for our beloved Indonesia. Indonesia Pasti Bisa (we believe in Indonesia ability to) make its own COVID-19 test kits.”
CEO Nusantics Sharlini Eriza Putri said,” Technology that Nusantics uses in skin microbiome analysis is similar to technology use to detect COVID-19. Nusantics team also have the experience in medical test-kit and bioinformatics. Our sense of duty to Indonesia and the right background move us to contribute more. Supported by BPPT’s openness leadership and partners with the same vision, we are now developing 100,000 test kits that specifically designed to target the newest mutation of SARS-CoV-2. We hope this collaboration is the beginning of Indonesia bioscience industry emergence.”
Co-founder and Executive Chairman KoinWorks Willy Arifin said, “KoinWorks family are proud to be involved and contribute to fight Covid-19. We will put our technology and expertise in crowdfunding to provide clear accountability to the fund raising, the same technology we use to funnel thousands of Lenders to finance a single Borrower in our platform. Indonesia Pasti Bisa, Indonesia will come together, crowdfund, to kick Covid-19 out of Indonesia.”
Founder and CEO of IDN Media Winston Utomo said “Giving a positive impact to society is always a part of IDN Media vision and mission. Not only providing relevant and useful contents for our audience, we also never have any doubt to taking part in positive initiatives for Indonesia, In the hand of global Corona pandemics, IDN Media have a social responsibility to join the fight to contain the spread of COVID-19 and we believe Indonesia Pasti Bisa that initiated by East Ventures is the right platform for that effort. Through IDN Times news platform (part of IDN Media) that have more than 45 million reader across Indonesia, we are ready to make sure this movement is transparent by regularly report its progress to the public.