Week in Review: The Chinese Bits & Bytes grab in Indonesia

  • Investment trend shows a clear preference for betting big on market leaders
  • DNA’s What’s Next conference on Brick & Mortars and digital disruption on Nov 9

GRANTED we are well into September but still, the Google-AT Kearney study “Indonesia Venture Capital Outlook 2017” which captures startup related data from the first eight months of the year is a really valuable study with useful data points about the state of the startup ecosystem in Indonesia.

This is one of those articles that you need to bookmark as well because of the data made available. And we have also shared the full 18-pg report for readers as well. One of the facts that leaped out at me was the overwhelming presence of Chinese investments.

We tend to believe that China has an insatiable appetite for land and resource grab overseas but in Southeast Asia, where their investments do not arouse political backlash, they are clearly making a big Bits & Bytes play to grab the still nascent digital economy. Of the US$3 billion already invested into Indonesia startups from Jan to Aug, Chinese companies accounted for an eye-popping 95% of the amount.

Of course the percentage is skewed by the three big investments they have made in Indonesia’s unicorns – Tokopedia, Traveloka and Go Jek – which total US$2.8 billion.

The nature of their investments is also interesting as they are more than willing to invest in the clear leaders in the market, be this at the national level or regional, as when Alibaba invested in Lazada and then increased their stake a year later. Entrepreneurs in the region would have noticed this as well and no doubt this gives them added incentive to grow quickly and become the regional leader in their niche.

With all the money being invested in startups to disrupt the status quo, Brick & Mortar players need to be on their toes ready to adapt their products and strategy for consumers who are increasingly moving their spending to digital-based products and services. At the same time, these players also must start transforming their processes and work flow in a market that is increasingly recognizing the value digital can bring in sharpening their efficiencies and productivity.

And that is why I am excited to announce that DNA’s annual What’s Next: The Business Impact of Disruptive Technology conference, will be help on Nov 9. With its focus on how Brick & Mortar players are adapting to digital disruption and turning that disruption to opportunities, our conference is unique because we bring Brick & Mortar company leaders to talk about how they are managing this disruption hitting them. This year, among the speakers, you can listen to Maybank Group, a US$23.8 billion (RM100 billion) market cap company talk about how it is unlocking value through its digital initiatives. You think they are worried about fintech? Come and listen to its chief strategy officer, Michael Foong, talk about this and more. You can get more details on What’s Next here and pick up your early bird tickets as well.  

Accenture is our “Knowledge Partner”, Leaderonomics the “Leadership Partner”, iTrain as “Training Partner”, Ansible as “Digital Partner” and BFM radio as “Business Media Partner”.  Fusionex International and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation are the Supporting Sponsors.

With that sales pitch to you, I wish you a restful weekend and a productive week after.

Editor’s Picks:

VLT Labs acquisition to be SEA springboard for Digital McKinsey

Indonesian startup investment hits US$3bil in 2017: Google – AT Kearney

Celcom trying to create a startup culture to regain its mojo

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 and Gear Fit2 Pro come to town

88Spares.com to support Indonesian textile and garment industry

All the world is an e-commerce stage for Creativize

Nokia 8 searches for its identity, offers good value

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