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Indonesian big data startup Bonza bags seed funding from East Ventures, tracks COVID-19 transmission rate

The company’s tool is used by the Indonesian government to track the COVID-19’s rate of transmission.

Bonza, an Indonesian startup that develops big data analytics, has raised seed funding from East Ventures, the company announced on Tuesday. The company said it will use the funding to develop its tech and product, as well as expands its business operations, but did not disclose the investment’s financial details.

Bonza was founded this year by two former Traveloka executives, Elsa Chandra and Philip Thomas. The firm helps organizations bring together disparate streams of data to form useful information, allowing different departments and teams to formulate their own insights that may otherwise take much longer to glean.

“There is a gap between leading machine learning and AI research, and its implementation in the real world. We see Bonza as the bridge to close that gap,” said Chandra in a statement. “Our mission is to support organizations to make sense of all their data from various sources, and use the data to build and deploy AI and machine learning solutions for better decisions at scale.”

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The young company is currently implementing its tools for the Indonesian government to calculate the rate of COVID-19’s transmission, or its effective reproduction number (Rt), in the country. The Rt figure is used as a metric when planning pandemic control measures, including the large-scale social restrictions that are in place in many of the Indonesian regions.

East Ventures co-founder and managing partner Willson Cuaca believes that the investment in Bonza will help the company build a platform that facilitates decision-making and monitor results effectively—a tool that businesses in all industries can utilize. “Bonza has also moved quickly, using its expertise to support the government’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 by adopting an algorithm to estimate Rt in every province throughout Indonesia and other countries in the region,” he said in a statement.

Rt data for each province in Indonesia is available and updated daily on Bonza’s dashboard.

“Indonesia needs metrics that can be used to monitor the impact of the reopening of economic sectors to the rate of infections. The dashboard built by Bonza is a valuable addition and alternative to the  available information,” Cuaca continued.