印尼目前已有数千家初创企业、四家独角兽公司，还涌现了一批为初创企业提供早期资金的孵化器和加速器。印尼数字产业的巨大增长潜力不断吸引着投资人和创业者。据 Daily Social 报道，2018年印尼初创企至少完成51笔融资，包括20笔种子轮，14笔A轮，和11笔B轮。独角兽公司之外，印尼初创企业共获投资4万亿印尼盾，约合2.74亿美元。
其中，电商和金融科技企业获得的投资最多，基于人工智能技术的服务，以及为平台设计的聊天机器人为它们的发展提供了支持。5月，Ruang Guru 获 MIT Solve 投资，成为2018年印尼教育科技领域的唯一一笔大投资。去年还有两家自然语言处理/理解（NLP/NLU）平台获得融资。一家是8月从 East Ventures 获得种子资金的 Bahasa.ai，另一家是获 Kaskus 投资的 Prosa。
新零售行业保持着增长潜力。Warung Pintar 公司先后于2月和8月完成两笔400万美元的融资，一笔来自 East Ventures，另一笔来自 Vertex Ventures、Pavilion Capital 和 Line Ventures。Warung Pintar 帮印尼中小型商家整合技术。公司称，自成立以来，其业务规模增长了3477%，平均月增速达到187%。目前，在大雅加达地区，与其合作的小微商家已超过500家，他们共经营着319家智能小卖部。
金融科技，尤其是 P2P 借贷是近年来增长最快的领域。据印尼金融服务管理局（OJK）统计，18年前三个季度，印尼科技借贷平台共借出9.51亿美元，这一数字预计将在2019年年底达到20亿美元。
2018年有三家科技借贷平台获得了数额不小的投资。他们分别是融到3000万美元B轮的 FinAccel（Kredivo）、融到2800万美元C轮的C88，以及完成2400万美元C轮融资的 Moka。
在P2P借贷公司迅猛增长的同时，印尼金融服务管理局也加强了监管。过去几个月里，围绕印尼P2P借贷热出现了一些争议。11月，致力于捍卫公民权利的民间组织雅加达法律援助协会（LBH Jarkata）向印尼金融服务管理局递交了联名投诉，控诉借贷公司采取不正当手段讨债，共1300名自称是受害者的人签署了这封投诉信。监管机构很快采取了行动，建立监督和处罚机制。目前，印尼通信和信息技术部 (Kominfo) 已关掉738家未向印尼金融服务管理局注册的非法金融科技平台，包括211个网站和Googel Play store 的527个安卓 APP。
在印尼，除了 P2P 借贷，电子支付服务也很有潜力。根据 MDI Ventures 与 Mandiri Capital 发布的一份名为《印尼移动支付：主宰大数据之战》的报告，印尼的移动支付市场预计将在2020年达到300亿美元，2016-2020年间的年复合增长率将达到158%。报告指出，印尼用户基数最大的两个移动支付服务是 Go-Pay 和电信公司 Telkomsel 的 TCash。OVO 也实现了显著增长。根据其2018年的业绩报表，自2017年11月以来，OVO 的用户群增长了400%。
进入2019年，金融科技仍将走在印尼数字产业的前沿，金融科技公司将有望与传统金融机构展开合作。雅加达经济金融发展研究院的经济学家 Bhima Yudhistira Adhinegara 认为，对资产在1万亿印尼盾（6900美元）以下的小型商业银行而言，为了确保其服务不落后于时代，他们需要与金融科技平台展开合作，而规模更大，资金更雄厚的银行则可能开发自己的金融科技平台。
鉴于印尼的电子钱包市场很大程度上尚未被开发，其数字支付行业仍有增长的空间。TCash、Go-Pay 和 OVO 等主流金融科技玩家持续增长，二维码技术的普及也将满足一部分用户需求。印尼本地媒体 Katadata 援引 Bhima 的话称，“新的玩家——尤其是支付宝和微信支付等来自中国的玩家——将引领二维码支付趋势。”同时，为了进一步提升渗透率，金融科技公司还需要与不同规模（中小型企业和大公司）的商家展开合作。应用方面，考虑到许多印尼人当前并没有任何形式的保障，保险和理财产品会是值得金融科技公司探索的方向。
在电商领域，Tokopedia、Bukalapak、Lazada 和 Shoppe 这四家主要平台之间的竞争将愈发激烈。也正因如此，Bhima 认为印尼今年不会出现新的电商平台。iPrice 的最新数据显示，本土玩家 Tokopedia 和 Bukalapak 已遥遥领先。新加坡的 Shoppee 最近也宣称已成为东南亚，尤其是印尼最大的电商平台。这意味几家平台很可能会在2019年一决胜负。
中小企业在电商平台上将越发活跃。据市场调查机构 Nielsen Indonesia 估算，在去年12月举行的全国网购节期间，印尼中小企业的本地产品贡献了46%的销量。
正如印尼“1000家数字初创公司”运动的发起人 Yansen Kamto 所说，其它领域的初创公司今年也有望在印尼站稳脚跟。他表示，“我对医疗和教育等领域很有信心，这两个领域2019年可能会出现新的独角兽。我也很看好食品行业，包括外卖、食品杂货零售、农业、供应链和支付解决方案。”
印尼通信和信息技术部部长 Rudiantara 去年也说过类似的话。他预计，到2019年，印尼将拥有五家以上估值超10亿美元的公司，而医疗和教育行业将成为最有可能出现独角兽的行业。为了支持印尼数字产业的发展，印尼政府也启动了一系列项目，包括旨在帮初创公司创始人对接投资人的 Nexticorn、面向中小企业的 SMEs Go Online，以及面向农民和渔民的 Farmers and Fisherman Go Online。印尼政府还承诺，今年将完善其电商发展规划，加强数字认证工作。
Indonesia’s startup landscape is one of the most dynamic in Asia. Google and Temasek project Indonesia’s digital economy to become the largest in Southeast Asia as its market value triples to from US$27 billion in 2018 to US$100 billion by 2025, promising more internet services for an emerging tech-savvy generation.
Today, Indonesia has thousands of startups and four unicorns. The potential for growth in the country’s digital industry makes it attractive to investors and entrepreneurs alike. Incubators and accelerators have also emerged, making initial investments in startups. Daily Social reported that Indonesian startups have secured at least 51 investments in 2018, including 20 recorded transactions of seed funding, 14 instances of Series A funding, and 11 cases of Series B funding. Not counting the unicorns, Indonesian startups received a total investment of IDR4 trillion, or US$274 million.
E-commerce and fintech received the most funding, while AI-based services bolstered those platforms and others by creating chatbots for them. The only major announcement in the edtech sector was Ruang Guru’s grant from the MIT Solve Programme in May. Two NLP/NLU (Natural Language Processing/Understanding) platforms raised funds last year, namely Bahasa.ai that received seed investment from East Ventures in August, and Prosa that received funding from Kaskus.
The new retail sector holds promise, as Warung Pintar, which translates to Smart Kiosk, raised two investments in 2018—US$4 million from East Ventures in February, and then the same amount from Vertex Ventures, Pavilion Capital, and Line Ventures in August. The company claimed to have grown by 3,477%, with average monthly growth of 187% since its launch in January 2018. Integrating technology for Indonesian SMEs, the startup currently has 319 kiosks that are operated by over 500 micro-entrepreneurs across Greater Jakarta.
Fintech, especially P2P lending, has been arguably the fastest growing sector in recent years. The Indonesian Financial Services Authority (OJK) recorded the total financing channeled by technology-based lending service providers as US$951 million in the first three quarters of 2018, and projects the total loan figure to grow to US$2 billion by the end of 2019.
Among the startups that received massive investments in 2018, three belong to this sector. These include FinAccel (Kredivo), which raised US$30 million in Series B funding; C88, whose Series C round brought in US$28 million; and Moka, with US$24 million in Series C funding.
The growth of P2P lending startups has encouraged tighter supervision from OJK. In the past few months, controversy has surrounded the P2P lending boom in Indonesia. In November, the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jarkata), an NGO that supports citizens’ rights, approached OJK to file a complaint signed by more than 1,300 people who say they are victims of unethical debt collection methods. Regulators sprang into action to develop a system for oversight and sanctions. The Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo) has blocked 738 illegal fintech platforms that were not registered with OJK, including 211 sites and 527 apps in the Google Play store.
Aside from P2P lending, digital payment services also hold promise in Indonesia. A study by MDI Ventures and Mandiri Capital titled “Mobile Payments in Indonesia: Race to Big Data Domination” predicts that the mobile payment market will reach US$30 billion in total gross transaction value by 2020, and reach a compound annual growth rate of 158% for the period between 2016 and 2020. The report indicates that two operators with the highest user bases are Go-Pay and Telkomsel’s TCash, while OVO also experienced significant growth. In OVO’s 2018 report card, the company claims that its user base has grown by 400% since November 2017.
What to expect in 2019
In 2019, fintech is expected to remain at the forefront of Indonesia’s digital industry, with the potential of collaborations with financial institutions. Bhima Yudhistira Adhinegara—an economist at the Institute for Development of Economic and Finance, an independent research body in Jakarta—predicts that small commercial banks with capital less than IDR1 trillion (US$69 million) will need to collaborate with fintech platforms in order to ensure that their services are up-to-date, while the bigger banks with more capital will develop their own fintech platforms.
Since Indonesia’s e-money market is largely untapped, the country’s digital payment sector still has room for development. Major fintech players like TCash, Go-Pay, and OVO are seeing continuous growth, and the adoption of QR code technology will also address demand. Local media outlet Katadata quoted Bhima saying, “Payment trends with QR codes will be carried out by new players, especially from China, such as Alipay and WeChat Pay.” Fintech players will also need to form partnerships with merchants of various sizes, from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to big businesses, to facilitate wider adoption. Insurance and wealth management also hold potential for fintech applications, as many Indonesians currently do not have insurance coverage of any form.
For e-commerce, the race between major platforms—Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Lazada, and Shopee—will be increasingly tense, so Bhima doesn’t expect new e-commerce platforms to emerge this year. The latest iPrice statistic shows that local players like Tokopedia and Bukalapak are far ahead of the competition. Yet Singapore’s Shopee recently claimed to be the largest e-commerce player in Southeast Asia and Indonesia in particular, signaling a showdown in 2019.
More SMEs are expected to be active on e-commerce platforms, as the market research agency Nielsen Indonesia estimates local products offered by SMEs accounted for 46% of product purchases during the national shopping day in December last year.
New sectors to rise
Startups in other sectors may also find a foothold in Indonesia this year, as suggested by Yansen Kamto, initiator of the 1000 Digital Startups movement in Indonesia. “I am very hopeful with new sectors like healthcare and educations,” he said to KrASIA. “We can expect new unicorns coming from these two sectors in 2019, and I’m also particularly excited with the food-related ecosystem, including delivery, grocery, agriculture, supply chain, as well as a payment solution.”
This is in line with what was stated by the Minister of Communication Rudiantara last year. He projects that Indonesia will have more than five startups each valued over US$1 billion in 2019, with healthcare and education being the most promising sectors for new unicorns in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. To support Indonesia’s digital ecosystem, the government has developed several programmes. These include Nexticorn, which aims to provide startup founders with access to suitable investors; SMEs Go Online; and Farmers and Fisherman Go Online. The government also promises to strengthen its e-commerce roadmap and digital certification this year.
In terms of funding, Indonesian startups remain popular among investors. Yansen mentioned that the country’s funding ecosystem was “super active” in 2018, with many investments driven into Indonesian unicorns. “This year, I am confident that there will be more fundings from Southeast Asia and China investors for early-stage startups, especially seed, pre-Series A, and Series A,” Yansen added.
As regional players enter Indonesia’s startup scene, new opportunities for collaboration and expansion may emerge for local firms, both within their home country and across the region.