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Indonesia’s Telkom Group prepares USD 500 million to invest in startups

The funds will be used to support the state-owned enterprise’s digital transformation by investing in startups.

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Telkom Group, Indonesia’s largest telecommunications network and service provider, has prepared USD 300 to 500 million for investment. The funds will be used to support the state-owned enterprise’s digital transformation by investing in startups, Daily Social reported.

Deputy State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that investment in digital platforms, such as startups, is important for Telkom’s sustainability. “The telco industry has a very high capital expenditure, that’s why we need to shift from only [investing in] digital infrastructures to include digital platforms as well,” he said.

Telkom’s corporate venture capital, Metra Digital Innovation (MDI) Ventures, will manage the money. This new funding, dubbed Telkom Fund II, is aimed at growth and later-stage start-ups. However, money sources have not yet been disclosed.

MDI Ventures mostly raised money from local investors. When they first established in 2015, Telkom injected USD 100 million, followed by another USD 40 million in May 2019. They started receiving foreign investments in September 2019, with South Korea’s Kookmin Bank as one of their limited partners. Last year, they launched Centauri Fund in collaboration with South Korea’s KB Investment, with USD 150 million in funds ready to be invested in growth stage start-ups.

To date, MDI Ventures has invested in 35 start-ups globally, including Indonesia’s credit lending app Kredivo. Their foreign ventures included Japan’s Geniee and Australia’s Whispir.