Indonesia’s BNI prepares USD 49 million VC fund to support local startups

More Indonesian banking institutions are entering the venture capital business.

BNI—one of Indonesia’s largest state-owned banks—plans to launch a venture capital firm later this year. The firm will be supported by a fund carrying between IDR 600 billion and IDR 700 billion (USD 42 million to 49 million), local media outlet Okezone reports.

In its statement, BNI said that it plans to realize this in the second half of 2019. The firm’s first investment will be in Fintek Karya Nusantara (Finarya), the operator of state-owned mobile payment platform LinkAja, which went live earlier this month.

The investment will be executed in three phases. First, BNI will invest through its brokerage BNI Sekuritas, while the second and the third phases will see investment going through the proposed venture firm.

In addition to LinkAja, the new VC firm will also invest in other startups that are aligned with BNI’s core financial and lending business, Okezone’s report said.

Aside from BNI’s announcement, other Indonesian banking institutions like BCA, Mandiri, and BRI have established venture capital subsidiaries to link up with the burgeoning local startup scene.

Most recently, CIMB Niaga, one of the largest private national banks, teamed up with Singapore-based private venture lending firm Genesis Alternative Ventures to build a venture-debt firm with an initial fund of USD 20.7 million.