GREE Ventures, the venture capital arm of Japan’s Gree Inc. and Indonesian conglomerate Salim Group are opening Skala, a new Jakarta-based accelerator programme to guide and fund local and foreign tech startups serving the Indonesian market.
Skala is a three-month programme that will take place out of BLOCK71 Jakarta, a co-working space launched in 2017 by Salim Group’s digital division, called Innovation Factory, and The National University of Singapore’s NUS Enterprise.
Each startup in the programme will receive an investment of US$30,000 from Skala in return for a 5% equity stake. Skala is looking to shortlist eight to 10 startups in its first batch, says Tinnike Lie, part of the community development team at BLOCK71 Jakarta to KrASIA.
Skala invites tech companies from all industries to join, provided that they have been formally incorporated before applying. The accelerator said that it has a strong interest in agritech, supply chain or logistics, healthtech, edutech, O2O, media, and fintech.
Teams should possess “strong domain expertise and deep understanding of the local market” and be on the path of establishing product-market fit. Those with a minimum viable product and some traction will have an advantage over their peers.
“We want to support good founders with good products but who are perhaps having difficulties in scaling their businesses,” says Agustiadi Lee, Programme Manager at Skala.
Skala will receive applications until September 14. The programme itself will start in early-October 2018, and culminate in a Demo Day in January 2019, where startups can pitch to investors. GREE Ventures, which in 2017 closed a US$67 million fund for Japan, Southeast Asia and India, may also decide to fund promising graduates from the cohort; it had previously invested in Indonesian fintech startup Kudo, which was acquired by O2O giant Grab.
All selected startups will get free office space at the BLOCK71 throughout the programme and for an additional three months after graduating. Skala’s partners will also provide these startups with legal and accounting consultation, as well as cloud hosting credits.
While there is no lack of accelerators and incubators in Indonesia, Skala’s selling point lies in the connections and guidance startups will receive during the programme, especially from venture capitalists and entrepreneurs like GREE Ventures Nikhil Kapur, as well as Indonesian entrepreneurs.
Kapur says in a press release, “most accelerators are focused on curation and then are simply trying to help their startups fundraise. Our fundamental belief is that if you build your company the right way in a large enough market, funding will come by itself.”
The BLOCK71 brand started in Singapore, and has since expanded to the US, Indonesia, and China.
Editor: Nadine Freischlad