Indonesia’s largest information and communication company, Telkom, shocked the nation’s startup ecosystem last week with its announcement of a US$200 million fund via its CVC (corporate venture capital) to invest in tech startups. The CVC, partnering with multiple VCs, aims to invest globally, with US and Indonesian startups as its focus. One of Telkom’s CVC partners is US-based Fenox VC (Disclosure: Fenox VC is also an investor in Tech in Asia. See our ethics page for more information).
JAKARTA: South Korean electronics giant Samsung has submitted a plan to invest in a mobile telephone factory in Indonesia, a senior official at the company’s Indonesian unit told Reuters on Monday. The Indonesian government is currently processing the plan, Lee Kang Hyun, vice-president of PT Samsung Electronics Indonesia, said in a text message.
For the past few weeks, Xiaomi has been teasing its fans about which is the next country it will enter. Today we know the answer: Indonesia. Xiaomi’s Indonesia website is now up , and its Indonesia Facebook account has also started . It means the Android handset manufacturer has officially entered the country, but there’s not yet a launch date for any of its gadgets. The Xiaomi Indonesia website poses one question to visitors: what cool smartphone can you design with a budget of only IDR 2 million (US$171)?
Indonesia’s tech startup scene gets a boost of confidence today as the country’s biggest information and communication company Telkom (IDX:TLKM) announces its plan to invest US$200 million in tech startups, as reported today by Okezone . “As a CVC (corporate venture capital), Telkom is the first one in ASEAN,” says Telkom’s president director Arief Yahya. It will also be the biggest fund to ever come out of Indonesia for tech startups.
Indonesian startups don’t really talk that much about the government. Besides the annual tech competition INAICTA , a lot of people still feel that the government doesn’t understand the tech scene. Thankfully, that perception could change in the coming years as more government departments are starting to embrace the open government initiative. Thanks to the initiative, citizens can access public information much more easily from the internet, and be more proactive in utilizing the raw information. During the recent presidential election for example, citizens created numerous websites to count the official vote tally documents made available on the General Elections Commission’s website.
A study by aCommerce, an e-commerce solutions provider in Southeast Asia, found that Indonesians started shopping online as early as 4 am during the recent Ramadan, the fasting month for Muslims. The study analysed e-commerce data of five retailers selling apparels, beauty and sports products during the two weeks prior and two weeks during Ramadan.
Indonesia’s general election last week still hasn’t provided a winner as both presidential candidates claim to have the mandate. That’s where Indonesia’s netizens come in. Because of the recent ‘open government’ initiative in Indonesia, the Elections General Commission (KPU) is sharing all election-related data on the internet – including documents related to the vote tally. That has inspired a number of crowdsourced vote counts.
US-based information and communication technology (ICT) company Hewlett-Packard (HP) is targeting customers from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the public sector in Indonesia, considering these market segments to be the nation’s most robust. HP senior vice president and general manager of Enterprise Group for Asia-Pacific and Japan, Jim Merritt, said his company views developing markets like Indonesia as an engine of growth.
Millions of Indonesians today enthusiastically cast their vote for a new president and a better future. The presidential race has been the closest one yet in the country’s election history as both candidates – Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto – declared they won the election based on differing quick count results. Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), one of the country’s favorite social media sites, played a huge role in the online campaign build-up. Today the company broke down a few important moments that took place on the site.
Facebook just saw its active user base in Indonesia rise to 69 million, according to a statement from Facebook’s Indonesia head, Anand Tilak. Two quarters back, the company reported 65 million active monthly users in the country pointing to a 6-percent increase. Indonesia is actually one of Facebook’s largest markets, despite the fact that Internet access isn’t always available and just 23-percent of the Southeast Asian country’s 240 million people have smartphones, according to Nielsen.
The world’s leading enterprises application software company SAP AG (SAP) is targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia, an industry it believes will significantly transform into an information and communications technology (ICT) market in the next few years, say the company’s national and regional leaders.
Mozilla has announced plans to release inexpensive smartphones for users in India and Indonesia in the coming months. The announcement was made during the Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai. Given the high competition in the smartphone market, it has become very difficult for smartphone manufacturing companies to stand out from the rest. And Mozilla is expected to take a large chunk of the market with the launch of its low-cost smartphones.
A lot of people in Southeast Asia have been hotly anticipating the arrival of Android smartphone brand Xiaomi in their country. The Chinese gadget-maker has made its way to Singapore and Malaysia in the past few months, and it has a few other countries on its roadmap. Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra (pictured above) is in Jakarta right now, and earlier today he gave a clear indication that Xiaomi’s Indonesia launch in imminent.
Now that both Facebook and Apple have offices in Indonesia, there’s only one more tech giant the country’s netizens are waiting for – Twitter. Peter Greenberger, director of political advertising for Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), is in Indonesia to meet with political leaders. The trip comes ahead of the vote for a new president next month.
WordPress is a very popular choice for people who want to build websites. According to the team, 22.3 percent – or about 75 million – of all websites on the planet use WordPress CMS. CEO Matt Mullenweg says that Indonesian is WordPress’ third most used language around the world, behind English and Spanish. Indonesian is the top language on WordPress in Asia. About 1.7 million WordPress blogs all over the world are written in the Indonesian language, which in total amounts to 200 million pageviews every month.
Bambang Heru Tjahjono, Director General for ICT Applications of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Indonesia (KOMINFO) [pictured] was the guest of honour at the opening of Open Source technology company Red Hat’s new Indonesian office in Jakarta. “Customers in Indonesia have always been very supportive of open source solutions and we have seen increased interest from local customers,” said Damien Wong, senior director and general manager, ASEAN, Red Hat.
Look out, Indonesia: Bitcoin Indonesia and Coin Of Sale, a Bitcoin point-of-sale system, are looking to turn Bali into a haven for Bitcoin users. More specifically, they’re looking to change the popular tourist destination into Bitcoin Island. This initiative was first started by the Bitcoin Indonesia crew. Tomas Forgac, founder of Coin Of Sale, said that they decided to join in because they believe it has several benefits for both tourists and Balinesian locals alike.
After more than a year of whispers and anticipation, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has opened an office in Indonesia. As reported by MakeMac today, information about the new Apple office in Indonesia’s capital is now visible on the website of the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia as well as on the ‘contact’ section of Apple’s Indonesia site.
Just like any other country in the world, there are a lot of Android smartphone users in Indonesia. According to research firm IDC, Android held 81 percent of the smartphone OS market in Indonesia last year. That means there are over 32 million Android users in the country at present. As a result, many players are looking to launch their own Android app stores in order to feed download-hungry users in Indonesia. Here are five contenders looking to win the market:
Indonesian telco Indosat has announced that it has joined forces with Japanese telco SoftBank to launch SB ISAT, a $50 million venture capital fund targeting Indonesian growth-stage startups. “The SB ISAT investment fund will allow Indosat to stay ahead of the fundamental changes in the telecommunication and internet industry and drive growth,” says Alexander Rusli, Indosat’s CEO and President Director.