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East Ventures launches program to support R&D and production of 100,000 COVID-19 test kits in Indonesia

The company will lead the fundraising effort for IDR 10 billion to produce the test kits and finance a Nusantics genome sequencing project.

In response to the coronavirus’ rapid spread in Indonesia, East Ventures is initiating a program called Indonesia Pasti Bisa (“Indonesia surely can”) to support the development and production of 100,000 COVID-19 test kits in Indonesia.

East Ventures’ newest portfolio company, Nusantics, is committing to the test kit’s development, taking cues from the Technological Research and Innovation Task Force for COVID-19 (TFRIC19) under the Indonesia Technology Assessment and Application Agency (BPPT). Nusantics is a deep tech startup that conducts advanced genomic research that is applied to consumer products. The company will produce 100 test kit prototypes and then continue on to mass production for 100,000 test kits.

According to an official statement, Nusantics plan to sequence the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Genomic mapping is essential because the virus is continuously mutating to adapt to its hosts and environment, and whole genome sequencing is crucial for COVID-19 vaccine research and development in Indonesia.

For Indonesia Pasti Bisa, East Ventures will lead the fundraising for IDR 10 billion (USD 617,300), which will be spent on producing 100,000 test kits and finance the whole genome sequencing project. All interested parties, whether private individuals or organizations, can participate by donating money, equipment, or skills via the program’s website. The crowdsourcing project will go live on March 30.

Other East Ventures portfolio companies are keen to participate in the Indonesia Pasti Bisa movement. Fintech startup KoinWorks will serve as an accountability partner to provide and manage the crowdsourcing platform. Funds raised will be disbursed directly to vendors providing materials and equipment for the project, and audited by an independent third party. Meanwhile, Indonesian media company IDN Media will ensure transparency by publishing every donation on its website, showing the amounts and timestamps.

Based on the principles of responsibility, accountability, and transparency, every measure of progress and the results of Indonesia Pasti Bisa will be continuously monitored. This way, the public can track down updates related to the distribution, utilization, and reliability of the test kits, according to the statement.