Indonesian online marketplace Tokopedia raises $100M from SoftBank and Sequoia

In what appears to be the largest round for an Indonesian startup on public record, online marketplace startup Tokopedia announced its approximate US$100 million financing round, led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Internet and Media Inc (SIMI). Sequoia Capital joined in as a follow on investor. With this round of funding, SoftBank and Sequoia Capital representatives will join the company’s board of directors. The funding also comes as Sequoia Capital’s first investment in Indonesia.

Telkom triples investment to support government’s urban broadband target

To achieve government’s ambitious target, private sector expected to invest aggressively in broadband roll-out. Indonesia’s government has set a target for  of 70 per cent of urban households, and 100 per cent of urban office buildings, to have broadband access in the next four years. In the same period mobile broadband in urban areas is targeted to hit 100 per cent.

Indonesian government launches high-speed internet initiative

According to Indonesian news outlet Tempo , the local government launched a nationwide high-speed internet access initiative yesterday. The goal of the program is to boost economic competitiveness throughout the archipelago. Titled the 2014-2019 Indonesia Broadband Plan, it will require Rp 278 trillion (US$23.2 billion) in financing. Minister of the National Development Planning Agency  Armida Salisah Alisjahbana claimed that the program will have a positive impact on locals by increasing work productivity and hopefully reducing economic gaps in the long run.

Telcos and ecommerce firms dominate social media engagement in Indonesia

Local telco Telkomsel  boasted the top Twitter engagement in Indonesia last month, according to a pair of reports  from social media analytics firm Sotrender . Poland-based Sotrender aims to help businesses understand their social media impacts and make strategy decisions based on real-time data and reports. Its latest frontier is Indonesia. The reports include data on Facebook pages and Twitter profiles across nine categories: automotive, banking, beverages, cosmetics, ecommerce, fashion, food, technology, and telecommunications.

Chinese phone-maker OnePlus inches closer to India launch

China-based mobile handset maker OnePlus is ready to enter the Indian market. Carl Pei, director of OnePlus Global, wrote  on the OnePlus forums that a general manager for India has been appointed and business negotiations have materialised. Indian consumers will soon be able to purchase the OnePlus One handset. OnePlus announced its plans to enter the Indian market in late August. The identity of the company’s new GM for India is under wraps, but the company promises OnePlus One will launch by end of this month.

Facebook founder presses Indonesian leader on web access

[Jakarta] Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg pressed Indonesia’s incoming leader Monday to improve Internet access in the sprawling archipelago saying that his social media network and other sites can help boost the economy. Zuckerberg met president-elect Joko Widodo at his office in the capital Jakarta, before both men – still dressed in their suits – made a tour through the cramped alleys of a bustling textile market, mobbed by an enthusiastic crowd.

Local government to implement winning application from smart city hackathon

Youths in Makassar city, Indonesia, gathered last week at a hackathon to build web and mobile applications to tackle top urban challenges of the city. The winning application will be implemented by the city government. These 500 youths focused on Makassar’s key concerns, including unemployment, social security service, healthcare, education, waste management, free training and microfinance for small enterprises, city’s park, public housing, and law enforcement.

Opera has over 30 million active users in Indonesia

The archipelago ranked just behind India, and Opera’s report claims more than 30 million monthly active Indonesian users of Opera Mini between July 2013 and July 2014. That’s three times the population of Jakarta. “More and more Indonesians connect to the web on their mobile phones,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software. Peko Wan, Opera’s head of PR and communications in Taiwan, says that among the top 100 handsets used by Opera Mini users in Indonesia, Samsung has the largest market share at 47 percent.

This startup wants to be Indonesia’s answer to Google Play

25 percent of all mobile users in Indonesia download content at least once a month, according to the Mobile Marketing Association . That’s in a smartphone market projected to reach more than 132 million  users by 2017. Those are encouraging numbers for Stanley Tan from Indonesian Android app store Oomph . Much like Apple’s App Store or Google Play, Oomph is a content distributor. The key difference is that it’s tailor-made just for the Indonesian Android market.

Indonesia’s only 4G service breaks hearts with stealthy price hike

Bolt, Indonesia’s only 4G mobile internet service, has been a ray of light for Indonesia’s techies since it launched 10 months ago. But the way the company is treating its users lately, it’s likely a backlash is coming. Operating in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi areas, Bolt currently serves over 750,000 users  in Indonesia – many of whom will notice big changes in the next billing cycle. The company has very stealthily increased prices and slashed data plans, without making any formal announcements on its website or social media accounts.

Indonesia recognised for open government at United Nations

Indonesia has been recognised for its open government achievements by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) gathering at the United Nations in New York this week. The OGP highlighted Indonesia’s “key achievement” in launching an “online service where citizens submit reports on the quality and completion of public works”. Meanwhile, the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, gave a speech launching the summit.

Coda Payments partners with top telcos in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore

Coda Payments  announced new partnerships this morning with several Southeast Asian telcos. The mobile payment company’s fresh roster of partners includes Globe Telecom  in the Philippines, Indosat  and Esia  in Indonesia, and SingTel  and M1  in Singapore. This brings the total number of customers with access to Codapay to more than 100 million in Asia.

Telkom Indonesia plants a seed for tech startups in East Java

As part of a joint initiative between Telkom Indonesia  and the Indonesia Digital Creative Industry Community  (MIKTI), MIKTI announced today the it has opened a new co-working space in Malang, a satellite town of Indonesia’s second largest city Surabaya. The space is funded by Telkom’s CSR fund, and has been dubbed Dilo Malang (short for “Digital Lounge Malang”). It provides facilities such as shared meeting rooms, classrooms, and common areas for entrepreneurs to network and build their startups collectively.

How Open Data Restored Citizen Trust In Indonesian Election

When both presidential candidates claimed to have won the July election, Indonesian citizens got together online and used open data to verify the votes. The General Elections Commission had earlier published scanned tallies from close to 500,000 polling stations on their website. Ainun Najib, an IT expert based in Singapore got his friends together and set up a website where 700 volunteers manually transcribed the scanned tallies into a spreadsheet.

Here’s how Indonesian telco Indosat is building the country’s startup ecosystem

By now, you may have heard about Jakarta’s Ideabox accelerator letting all eight of its second batch startup finalists into the program last week. You may have also heard about the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank taking an interest in local tech ventures. But what you may not realize is that the two initiatives have a common denominator in local telco Indosat , one of the archipelago’s largest telecommunication companies. Right now, Indosat is calling itself one of the most aggressive players in Southeast Asia’s tech startup scene, particularly when it comes to forming new partnerships.

Jakarta Forms Team To Assess Officials’ Performance, Starts Competitive Testing

The government of Jakarta is forming a team of senior officials to assess the performance of civil servants across the city administration. The move will affect thousands of civil servants in the city, from agency heads to subdistrict heads and community health centre managers. “Under-performing higher-echelon officials will be demoted to lower positions or become staff,” Regional Secretary Sekda Saefullah announced this week. The city administration will also conduct tests to allow lower officials to be promoted into the higher ranks.

China’s Xiaomi Enters Indonesian Market

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has reportedly entered the Indonesian market and will exclusively sell its products via the local e-commerce website Lazada. The retail price of the Hongmi smartphone in Indonesia is IDR1.5 million, which is about CNY786, according to multiple media reports. To support the post-sales services of Hongmi, Xiaomi has launched 17 service centers in Indonesia. Over the next few months, Xiaomi will launch its flagship product in this country.

Jakarta Launches One Stop Service Agency

The newly established One Door Integrated Services Agency (BPTSP) will establish 520 service offices in Jakarta in the next year, providing residents a single point of entry in to the often confusing city bureaucracy. As part of the reform, current licence issuing departments will see all licensing consolidated in the new agency.

Twitter confirms upcoming office in Indonesia

Indonesia is an attractive emerging market for many tech companies due to the large number of young consumers and the slowly expanding middle class. Along with its good internet penetration, Indonesia could become an important technology market in the future. Following Facebook’s and Apple’s moves to open representative offices in Indonesia, Twitter revealed today that it also plans to do just that.

Indonesia’s Bolt launched 4G smartphones, targets 500,000 new users

Last year Bolt  entered the scene and became Indonesia’s first 4G internet provider with its two pocket wifi modems. Following nine months of strong growth, the company on Thursday launched its first handsets. Dubbed “Powerphone ,” Bolt hopes the Android-powered smartphones will attract more users to the fledgling internet provider.