Philippine tech company Xurpas has announced yet another acquisition, this time of a mobile content provider in Indonesia, marking its first foray into the country. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), Xurpas said it bought 49 percent of PT Sembilan Digital Investama, parent of Ninelives Interactive, for US$245,000. The Indonesian companies are engaged in mobile content development and distribution, the same business as Xurpas’. They have existing contracts with top carriers such as Telkomsel, as well as XL Axiata and Indosat.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo visited Indonesia yesterday, officially inaugurating Twitter’s new office in Jakarta. At a Q&A session which also featured Rick Mulia, Twitter’s head of the Indonesia office, and representatives from two of Twitter’s partner programs in Indonesia, Costolo explained the firm’s reasons for turning its attention towards Indonesia.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo visits Indonesia tomorrow for the first time. The purpose of his visit is to inaugurate Twitter’s representative office in Indonesia, which is headed up by Rick Mulia. Costolo will likely also meet with Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo and minister of communications and information technology, Rudiantara. Costolo’s visit comes during a time of mixed messages from Indonesia, as the nation struggles to find a clear position on how it wants to treat massive online content networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google, and YouTube.
Over the next five years, the Indonesian government plans to spend more than US$420 billion on infrastructure projects in the archipelago. A large portion is to come from the private sector; for telecoms projects in particular, nearly all of it will. Indonesia’s tech minister, Rudiantara, is looking to streamline the new network build-outs and has asked the nation’s three major telcos – Telkomsel, Indosat, and XL Axiata – to submit their plans. The minister wants to ensure that the telecoms infrastructure push is efficient nationwide, and not just limited to the greater Jakarta area.
Part of Indonesia’s future development hinges on how quickly and efficiently the world’s fourth most populous nation is able to embrace digitization and make it work in its favor. The man in charge of shepherding Indonesia’s digital development is Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mr. Rudiantara. He was inaugurated in October 2014 as part of President Joko Widodo’s new cabinet.
Bandung city in Indonesia has tied up with Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) to build infrastructure for its smart city projects. An online portal, video analytics to monitor crime hotspots, sentiment analysis and public Wi-Fi are in the pipeline. Bandung will work with the firm to implement video analytics on the city’s surveillance system to monitor traffic conditions and crime-prone locations. It will also pick up data from Facebook and Twitter to analyse the latest topics going around on social media in Bandung.
According to responses from 37 city administrators in Asia, use of cloud technology is set to double over the next three years. This accelerating adoption of cloud computing is just one of the findings of ‘City Cloud: Cloud Adoption for Asia’s Cities’. The new report was produced by CityNet, an association of Asia Pacific cities focused on improving urban sustainability. The report sets out the potential for the cloud to simplify the delivery of ICT services to municipal staff and residents, improve security, and generate revenue for cities.
Last Thursday and Friday were important days for Indonesia’s tech scene. Macquarie Indonesia, the local branch of the global investment banking and financial services giant, held an invite-only conference for high-profile professionals in the telecoms and ecommerce spaces. No other press were allowed inside the venue at the Ritz Carlton, and the list of speakers included some interesting names, including Indonesia’s tech minister Rudiantara, CEOs from the top three telcos, and a slew of investors, VCs, and startup founders, among others.
Monitoring tasks and assets in an environment of ever-increasing complexity and speed is a big challenge for businesses and governments. But the tools available to manage that complexity are also advancing. Real-time tracking of objects and people, mapping their locations and building software on top of this data is the sweet spot for Jakarta-based startup TerralogiQ. The company sets up customized dashboards from which clients can monitor the whereabouts and performance of their assets.
The Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) has revealed that two firms are set to list their shares, while some others are on their way to going public and raising funds from the capital market. According to Hoesen, the bourse director of corporate listings, two firms will make their stock market debuts in the first half of this year, the first of which is hospital operator Mitra Keluarga Karyasehat while the other is miner Merdeka Copper and Gold.
Trikomsel, one of Indonesia’s largest mobile device retailers, and SingPost, one of Asia’s biggest logistics providers for ecommerce, announced a partnership today to take advantage of the growing opportunities of ecommerce in Indonesia. The name – and even the exact nature – of the joint venture is still a mystery. However, the two firms are certain that they will create a company that acts as a partner for local brands and merchants in the ecommerce space.
Publicly listed tower company PT Tower Bersama Infrastructure (TBIG) ended last year with surging revenues and net profit, driven by a tenancy boost and lower foreign-exchange loss. The company booked a 22.2 percent revenue increase to Rp 3.3 trillion (US$254.3 million) last year from Rp 2.7 trillion in 2013. Cellular operator PT Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel), a subsidiary of PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), remained the largest revenue contributor with rental rates worth Rp 1.2 trillion or 36.8 percent of TBIG’s total revenues.
A student team from Indonesia is working on an app that aims to reduce the number of traffic accidents worldwide. The upcoming app aggregates real-time traffic and vehicle data (which have been tackled by other apps and gadgets before), but adds a unique component: a brainwave sensor device which monitors the stress levels and alertness of the driver.
It’s official: Twitter has arrived in Jakarta and opened an office space in the 15th floor of the One Pacific Place office building, SCBD, Jakarta. In November 2014 at our Tech in Asia Jakarta 2014 conference, Rick Mulia, head of business development for Twitter in Indonesia, announced that Twitter would open a local office by early 2015. It seems today he’s made good on that promise. Unsurprisingly, the news first broke via Twitter when the official account of Twitter Indonesia, @TwitterID, sent out its first tweet to the world, Indonesia-style.
Indonesia will set standards for smart cities in the country by the end of the year, said Minister for ICT, Rudiantara. He urges local governments to be more competitive in the race to improve municipal services with technology. The city with the best implementation will be selected as a benchmark to determine the standards before the end of the year, he said. Yogyakarta, Banyuwangi and Bandung have already implemented the smart city projects, Rudiantara said.
Today, Indonesian jobs information site Qerja announced that after just eight months in operation, the company has secured a series A funding round from the SB ISAT Fund, a collaboration between SoftBank and Indosat. The amount of the round was not disclosed, but Qerja is calling it “one of the highest Series A valuations of any Southeast Asian startup.” The round, it says, puts Qerja at an eight digit valuation. Previously, Qerja was supported by a seed round raised from Mountain Kejora Ventures (formerly known as Mountain SEA Ventures).
Android app store Oomph, which is like a Google Play alternative for Indonesia, announced today that it has secured a round of seed funding of an undisclosed amount. The startup says it will use the funds to strengthen the team and expedite growth. The investment is from Japan-based IMJ Investment Partners. Oomph is aimed at the growing number of Android smartphone users in Indonesia. It has apps, games, wallpaper, music, and more.
Manila-based Yoyo Holdings, the Japanese-led startup known for its mobile rewards platform Candy, announced last week that it has launched a lock screen-based rewards platform for Android users in Indonesia, called PopSlide. The app is available on Google Play in Indonesia. The platform distributes news, weather forecasts, other updates, and ads to your smartphone lock screen. In return for viewing such information, users receive rewards for free Internet access on their smartphone.
Jakarta is a megacity with a bad rep for underserving its inhabitants. Regular floods, fires, record-breaking traffic gridlocks, and pollution make life in Indonesia’s capital a daily stress test. But the tide is slowly turning as Jakarta’s government, now under the leadership of governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, is discovering how to make communication technology work in its favor.
Indonesia’s Lippo Group announced today the launch of its massive ecommerce venture MatahariMall – the online version of one of the nation’s biggest mid-priced department stores. Lippo Group is one of the archipelago’s largest and richest conglomerates, and has invested US$500 million into the initiative. Lippo plans to spend the money over the next two to three years in hopes that the site can create US$1 billion in sales.