2017 was an exhilarating year for Jakarta’s startup scene. We bear witness to deals that were closed at amounts that reached an all-time high, almost USD 4 billion in total. The good news is it is not stopping anytime soon.
As the Jakarta startup scene is still brewing, we are watching the rapid and continuous growth of the ecosystem thanks to the tremendous support from all the players in the industry. At the end 2017, the Indonesian government announced that it is prepared to groom more startups to achieve unicorn status with the NextICorn programme — a collaborative initiative by AMVESINDO and the Indonesian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, that promotes Indonesia’s most investable startups in the context of the latest information available from key ecosystem stakeholders.
The government-supported platform invites serious investors internationally to explore the potential of one of the fastest growing digital economies in the world, and engage with its entrepreneurs, local investors and regulators. In a way, the programme also makes sure to address any challenges and concerns of foreign investors about business regulations in Indonesia. Therefore, this is the time for fundraising startups to shine as Indonesia’s industry leaders will have your back.
Moving forward, the ecosystem received yet another proof of advancement. Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Connecting Commerce” report revealed that Jakarta ranked 8th among 45 cities worldwide with the highest confidence in the environment for digital transformation, leaving behind London, Madrid, as well as our neighbouring city-state, Singapore. The highly diverse capital was deemed best at new technologies development, as well as innovation and entrepreneurship.
Having interviewed the managing partners of the few most active VCs in Indonesia, we get to clearly see that capital is not the sole thing startups need to thrive in the ecosystem. While money is crucial, it is the synergy between the startup founders and the VCs to navigate the best way to succeed that is the key component for these innovations and digital transformations to happen.
Fortunately, the best investors position themselves as the strategic partners for their portfolios, where they share their extensive experience to guide the startups through every step of the entrepreneurship journey. Beyond that, these venture capitals are also ready to provide extensive networks of strategic business partner worldwide.
Let’s get to the investors’ tips for founders to have a higher chance of funding and continue the journey to make their dreams come true:
- Do your homework first - research all your targeted investors and make sure that your product will be of interest to them, and that the money requested is within the VC’s ticket size.
- Have a solid understanding about the market you are in. You can pitch the greatest idea, but when you look clueless about the market, you’ll lose the investor’s interest because it looks like you’re not really plugged in.
- Ensure that each of the members of your founding team has the right domain expertise and they’re doing the right things within the startup.
- Build your perfect pitch. The basic key points you should have in your pitch deck are:
- Open the presentation with your product so the audience knows what you are doing.
- Define and explain the problem that your product is addressing.
- Describe the solutions and how your product will deliver this solution.
- Show how big the market is for your business.
- Identify your competitors – are you facing any direct or indirect competition? To what extent is your solution different from the other products?
- Explain how you are making money out of the product; where does your revenue come from?
- Show your traction, backed up by real numbers.
- Give an outlook of the future – any additional markets you could enter or features you could build.
- End the pitch by introducing a strong team that can execute. You should have at least a business founder and a tech founder.
Along with the fundraising process, keep in mind that with the fast pace of growth in the ecosystem, does your startup really have what it takes to stand out and soar in the capital? Are you ready to continue the fight and help support the digital economy of Indonesia? If you truly believe so, we have all the best wishes for you and your endeavours.
For more tips and information on sources of funding in Indonesia and how to access them, please get a copy of the “Insider’s Guide to Jakarta Startups”, coming to your favourite book stores soon.
Text by Dila Karinta. This article is originally from paper. Read NOW!Jakarta Magazine April 2018 issue “Money and Finance”. Available at selected bookstore or SUBSCRIBE here.