Indonesia’s Startups to Keep an Eye on in 2019
14 June 2019
Indonesian startups are on the rise—in April this year, The Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) projected a 20-30% growth in the number of startups in Indonesia, thanks to a high demand for digital solutions in business, industry, logistics, and in other sectors, as well as accelerated mobile penetration and a growing middle-income population.
We look at East Ventures’ backed startups during the 1st semester of 2019 ready to make their mark in the Indonesian market in the months to come.
The Fit Company
The Fit Company’s journey began in 2014 when co-founders Jeff Budiman, Prianka Bukit, and Bambang Bukit started Kredoaum, a fitness tech and machine distribution company. The trio also established 20Fit, a micro-gym concept using Electro Muscle Stimulation technology, that soon went viral thanks to its 20-minute sessions promising the same results as a conventional three-hour gym session.
The company soon realised that exercise alone was insufficient, and that there was a need for a ‘holistic wellness ecosystem’ for its members. This led to the launch of two complementary business lines in 2017: Fit Lokal, a restaurant chain that specialized in healthy, low-calorie meals, and Fitmee, a low-calorie instant noodle made from konjac that capitalised on the country’s love for the quick meal option.
The Fit Company has since brought all these separate entities together under one umbrella, along with its fifth concept, Fitstop, a more conventional gym option launched in 2018. “After a period of sustained innovations in terms of products we realize that the whole pipeline of the so-called ‘wellness economy’ is there for the taking,” says Budiman.
In announcing East Ventures’ injection of seed funding into Indonesia’s first wellness tech startup in January 2019, Willson Cuaca said: “We believe The Fit Company team has the right vision and strong execution capability to unlock Indonesia’s wellness economy potential.”
Founded in May 2017 by Oki Earlivan, Rowdy Fatha and Krisna Adiarini, Triplogic is an Indonesian based startup that provides end-to-end last-mile delivery services that include logistics, goods delivery, fulfillment and distribution.
The startups customers vary from e-commerce retailers and corporate distributors to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and individual users.
The company leverages on its drop shipping points in SMEs and local shops—via smart lockers and drop boxes—to fulfil deliveries in as quickly as three hours.
Indonesia is currently one of the three largest global markets for logistics, along with China and India, in terms of market size and growth.
Triplogic has carved a place for itself within the industry. It is responsible for thousands of deliveries daily across 61 cities in Indonesia and has seen gross merchandise volume grow an exponential 34 times in less than two years since its inception.
The idea for Lubna.io, the first crypto robo-trading platform in Southeast Asia, came about while co-founder Kevin Cahya was juggling his full time job at East Ventures while simultaneously managing its multiple financial assets.
“It’s almost impossible for retail investors who have a full-time job like me to achieve maximum profit as we are unable to monitor our portfolios all the time. Furthermore, I see many retail investors, especially novices, having difficulties to achieve positive returns due to the lack of exposure and knowledge in investment. Robo trading is what we see as the solution,” said Cahya.
The team, which also consists of co-founder Eddy Hartanto and advisor Arthur Soerjohadi–who both bring with them extensive trading knowledge and experience—hopes to revolutionalize the way the younger generation invests in Indonesia where financial literacy is still low.
The company’s one-stop platform allows novices to automate their trading activities via a range of trading bots that use tested algorithm systems, while more professional users can automate trading strategies and earn extra income by lending these strategies to novices.
Stockbit was initially intended to be a ‘social network for stock traders’, but has since evolved into an app that integrates stock trading, information aggregation, and social networking. Founded in 2013, the platform aims to make investing in the capital market more accessible to Indonesian millennials who are showing an increased appetite for investments.
According to Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX) data, the number of retail investors grew 40% year-on-year in 2018, with 70% of them aged between 21-40 years old.
“Despite its lucrative returns, first-time traders in Indonesia are still too intimidated to invest in the capital market due to lack of knowledge, lack of access to high-quality wealth managers, and high fees of professional advisory services. They often faced difficulties in navigating the fast-changing nature of the stock market. With Stockbit, we aim to make investment easy and optimal for everyone,” said Wellson Lo, Stockbit’s co-founder.
With the acquisition of mutual fund app Bibit in February 2019, Stockbit added a robo-advisor element to help users build personalized mutual fund portfolios and invest in more optimal ways.
Advotics is an Indonesian cloud-based SaaS startup that helps companies digitalize offline field and trade activities, while converting data from these activities into insightful metrics that will allow them to make better sales, marketing, and operational decisions.
Early on, its co-founders Boris Sanjaya, Hendi Chandi, and Jeffry Tani—all engineers from diverse backgrounds—realised that most companies still relied on offline methods to manage and track their sales and distribution channels, often resulting in lots of manual paperwork and less time for more pressing business and strategy needs.
Advotics’ platform has improved the average salesperson’s productivity, resulting in an overall increase of 49% in-store visits per day. One of its breakthrough solutions was a method to digitalise physical assets and products via QR code; this has been placed on more than 100 million units in the past 24 months.
The company counts names such as ExxonMobil, HM Sampoerna (an affiliate of Phillip Morris International), Danone, Mulia Group, Saint Gobain, Nutrifood, and Indosurya among its corporate clients.
Advotics recently closed a US$2.7 million seed investment led by East Ventures in May 2019, and plans to infuse deeper technology in its product development and solutions as well as accelerate customer growth.
East Ventures’ Willson Cuaca said, “Corporate digital transformation is sweeping Indonesia in a big wave. Advotics’ solution helps corporates monitor the movement of their workforce and goods. We believe this is just the beginning of supply chain transformation in Indonesia and welcome the Advotics team to East Ventures’ B2B ecosystem.”
Founded in late 2018, Kedai Sayur’s mission is simple: working with several farmers and partners for fresh product sourcing and distribution.
Through its platform, vegetable hawkers can access products directly and pick them up from the nearest drop-off point; partner grocers can even register as drop-off points themselves. Kedai Sayur also provides its partners with delivery vehicles through its “Si Komo” service, through which they can reach door-to-door customers.
Kedai Sayur currently has more than 2,000 vegetable hawkers as partners on its platform, with that number growing by 60% month on month. Eighty percent of these partners actively sell their product, generating 5x growth in gross merchandise value between January and May 2019.
In May 2019, Kedai Sayur raised US$1.3 million in seed funding from East Ventures, which it will use to grow its network of partners and warehouses, as well as build more vehicles.
East Ventures’ Willson Cuaca said: “Kedai Sayur fits into two of East Ventures hypothesis. The first one, technology inclusion to upgrade the underserved merchant accessing technology and second, improvement of Indonesia supply chain. There is local wisdom that helps traditional on-demand vegetable hawker to exist for so long and we want to preserve that culture with a touch of technology.”