We asked Indonesia’s top venture capital (VC) firms for some of the most exciting Indonesian start-ups today. Will they become the country’s next unicorns?
Founded in 2020, Chickin Indonesia was set up to overcome the country’s challenges in strengthening food security by targeting obstacles in the production and distribution of poultry.
Cofounders Ashab Alkahfi, Tubagus Syailendra, and Ahmad Syaifullah created the company after they realized the inefficiency of the industry based on first-hand experience, having actively cultivated chickens as farmers.
The start-up focuses on using technology to boost broiler chicken production, ensuring quality for customers and higher income for farmers.
Using cloud-based software, Chickin enables farmers to carry out effective cultivation, with dashboard monitoring and cage management tools. Equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) hardware, farmers are also able to create an optimal food conversion ratio and adjust a more suitable climate for livestock to ensure increased productivity.
“We believe Chickin is here to bring more tech-based innovations to empower this space,” said East Ventures managing partner Roderick Purwana.
In terms of distribution, Chickin aims to innovate the conventional fragmented system that usually leads to uncontrollable supply and demand. The company offers a business-to-business channel to sell chicken through supply-demand matching.
To date, more than 8,200 breeders have joined the ecosystem, with a potential flock of 25 million chickens spread throughout Indonesia. The start-up has garnered 200 clients in the F&B industry. Chickin also saw its revenue grow more than 50 times in 2022.
Last year, it made it to the Forbes Asia 100 To Watch 2023, a list of 100 Asia-Pacific small companies and start-ups on the rise.
To improve the competitiveness of Indonesian logistics services in the global market, local start-up waresix is aiming to revolutionize the industry by changing its disorganized operation.
The idea started when Andree Susanto, a distributor, wanted to offer his product to college friend Edwin Wibowo. However, they saw that there were distribution problems that made logistics costs soar.
Turning the obstacle into a business opportunity, the two founded waresix in 2017. The company offers an end-to-end integrated solution to logistics challenges, in the form of trucking, warehousing, and sea transportation, by fostering collaboration between different parties to improve scalability, visibility, and sustainability.
Utilizing the waresix Operating System (wOS), strengthened by digital technology and AI, their platform automates logistics processes to become more modern. Among its many features are recommendations for shorter travel distances through Smart Routing, and increased visibility through its dashboard that displays real-time data and analytics.
By realizing their vision to accelerate logistic operations throughout Southeast Asia, they aim to assist businesses to grow by driving efficiency. In 2021, the start-up inked a deal with the Health Ministry to act as an exclusive platform to distribute oxygen concentrators.
Waresix helps 280 million people across 17,000 islands. It garnered recognition in 2022 when it was named as the Most Inspiring start-up at the CNBC Indonesia Awards, and wider attention as one of the Top 50 Emerging Giants in Southeast Asia by KPMG.
Bababos entered the market in 2022 to connect small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the best raw material suppliers, aspiring to transform the fragmented supply chain in Indonesia. The platform allows easier access for everything from steel to chemicals, eliminating the need to go through multiple suppliers, opting for a “just-in-time” supply chain to increase efficiency.
By strategically positioning itself as a world-class supply chain platform, Bababos aims to provide equal opportunities for SMEs in the manufacturing sector to get the best supply chain facilities that are almost exclusively available to larger companies, ultimately leveling the playing field.
The mission was clear from the beginning, as cofounders Fajar Adiwidodo, Sigit Aryo Tejo, and Hendrik Panca built the company based on their own experiences trying to break into the industry.
The company is digitizing all of the procurement processes and leveraging big data to accurately group demands, based on the materials and geographical needs. Purchases can be made through its web application that allows users to do transactions online.
According to backer East Ventures, as of March 2023, Bababos served more than 50 SME manufacturers, with some of them having experienced up to a threefold increase in business after partnering with the start-up. Today, that number has increased to over 400 SME manufacturers.
It is also reported that success came quickly, recording an average monthly revenue growth in excess of 100 percent shortly after its launch, and processing hundreds of transactions per month with growth of 30 percent every month. Bababos also claims to have contributed to increasing machine utilization from initial production volumes of below 50 percent to increasing threefold.
Maka Motors is an electric motorbike manufacturing firm founded in 2020 by ride-hailing veterans Raditya Wibowo, who was recently featured in Prestige Indonesia’s 40 Under 40 list, and Arief Fadillah. The pair is dedicated to building two-wheelers specifically designed for Indonesian riders, aiming to strike the right balance between power, range, and affordability.
Fueled by a substantial US$37.6 million seed funding round from East Ventures, SV Investment, and AC Ventures in June 2023, the company has allocated these funds for scaling up its operations, expanding its research and development (R&D) efforts, and accelerating its production of electric two-wheelers. Unlike other electric vehicle (EV) firms, Maka Motors intends to conduct its R&D in-house rather than outsourcing it, as the company has stated.
Koinworks was founded to democratize financial assets, especially catering to the underserved and underbanked in Indonesia.
The financial super app is designed to provide services as a liaison for parties who want to carry out financial activities, whether in information technology-based money lending and/or borrowing services or other financial products. The capital lending component offered for users is usually peer-to-peer loans, with the app as a platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors.
Founded in 2016 by Benedicto Haryono and Willy Arifin, Koinworks found success amid the pandemic, reporting a jump of up to 1.5 million new users. By October 2023, the company’s total assets under management (AUM) reached more than Rp 2.1 trillion (US$132.73 million) as it was able to open up services to a wider audience.
The full list was published in The Jakarta Post, Tuesday, 30 January 2024 edition.