Collaboration to grow startup ecosystem in Indonesia and Singapore

  • Startups will have access to free spaces, go through acceleration programmes, leverage for funding
  • Partnership will doors to knowledge and talent sharing between the two countries


Collaboration to grow startup ecosystem in Indonesia and Singapore



STARTUPS need to grow beyond the borders of their home countries in order to share their culture of innovation and ring their goods as well as services to a wider audience.

In order to assist startups from Indonesia and Singapore, East Ventures-managed co-working space, EV Hive, is working together with SGInnovate-managed startup space, BASH by building a landing pad for companies from both countries.

Established as an extension of East Ventures, EV Hive is a community-based co-working space that is actively involved in developing the digital startup ecosystem in Indonesia through shared office, public collaboration and knowledge sharing.

EV Hive currently has two locations, one in South Jakarta (The Maja), and another in BSD City, Tangerang (The Breeze).

East Ventures is a leading venture capital fund for early stage companies in SEA with a focus on Indonesia. Since 2010 East Ventures has invested in over 100 companies and helped entrepreneurs build fas-growing technology companies. East Ventures has offices in Jakarta, Singapore, and Tokyo.

SGInnovate is wholly-owned by the Singapore government, under the purview of the National Research Foundation with a focus on enabling the potential of ambitious entrepreneurs based in Singapore who believe they can build a startup.

With an emphasis on science and deep-technology, SGInnovate brings together partners from the private sector, institutes of higher learning, and research organisations as part of Singapore’s broader ecosystem of innovation.

Through this ecosystem, SGInnovate connects these aspiring entrepreneurs with support for business-plan development, sources of funding, and go-to-market efforts.

The partnership between these two entities will allow members to tap into the networks, free spaces at EV Hive and BASH, and services of both East Ventures and SGInnovate in Singapore and Indonesia.

“Both Indonesia and Singapore ecosystems have benefited from the massive growth of the consumer market, driven by Internet penetration and mobile adoption in recent years,” said East Ventures managing partner Willson Cuaca.

Startups from both sides which are in the later stage of funding (Series B and above) can leverage on support from EDBI, the global investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board, and a partner of East Ventures.

“We are very glad to have support from our Singapore partners such as EDBI who can assist our portfolio companies and technology startups in EV Hive at different stages of their development.

“When growth-stage companies from Indonesia are ready to expand internationally to global markets, they can leverage on EDBI's networks to access global partners and business opportunities. Additionally, larger companies can seek help from the Singapore Economic Development Board for their regional expansion plans. Meanwhile, Singapore startups that are keen to participate in the growth of the Indonesia digital sector can leverage on EV Hive to do so,” adds Willson.

To share knowledge and talent

Singapore, with its infrastructure, robust intellectual property protection regime, and easy access to global talent, is well positioned to be a regional digital hub for Asia. While Indonesia with its massive consumer base, hyper growth mobile Internet and fast growing middle class is the largest digital economy in the region.

For SGInnovate head of ecosystem development Alex Yin, this collaboration can spice up the homogenous startup sector in Singapore.

“The startup environment in Singapore is homogenous, so with this collaboration, the opportunity to expand to Indonesia is huge because of the big population. And also, it is important to get local help to connect them,” says Yin.

Willson believes that this partnership will help to overcome the challenges of infrastructure and internet penetration in Indonesia.

“This partnership will strengthen the position of both countries in the region and create a platform for startups from Singapore and Indonesia to collaborate and get the best of both countries’ knowledge and markets,” adds Willson.

Regional companies which are based in Singapore can use EV Hive as a landing pad in Indonesia while Indonesian companies can use BASH as a stepping stone to access the regional stage.

The collaboration will also provide acceleration programmes for financial technology (fintech) startups so they will be able to learn each country’s market and ecosystem.

EV Hive has been helping to facilitate the development of 36 startups, six of them originally based in Singapore. Through its network of startups and the tech community, EV Hive has formed partnerships with startups offering back office services and affordable on-demand software such as payroll services and accounting software.

EV Hive plans to expand to more locations in Jakarta and will build up to seven offices by the end of the year.

Singapore-based career discovery platform, Glints, has been working at EV Hive since the first day of their Indonesia expansion.

“When we first expanded to Indonesia, we faced the usual expansion challenges of getting early adopters and market traction. This was especially crucial to a marketplace platform like ours, as we have to grow users quickly in order to hit market liquidity for the platform to start producing value.

“This is where EV Hive and East Ventures partners’ local market knowledge and network helped us in market validation. With their support and the Indonesian market size, it took us one month to achieve the same user growth we had in Singapore after one year,” said Glints co-founder and chief executive officer Oswald Yeo.

Glints now reaches up to 150,000 users in Indonesia and 50,000 in Singapore.

The government of Singapore also supports this collaboration and hopes that it will help to boost both countries’ economy.

“Between Indonesia and Singapore, there are good economic relations and we are looking forward to deepening the partnership,” Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran concludes.


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