JAKARTHA, INDONESIA (January 05, 2024) – Founded in 2009, East Ventures is a leading sector-agnostic venture capital firm based in Singapore, with years of supporting several hundred startups in Indonesia with seed capital and multi-stage investments.
The company’s strategy is to identify and invest in the best founders and opportunities regardless of the state of the economy. While numerous investment opportunities present themselves across a diverse array of sectors, East Ventures continues to make greater strides in sector-agnostic investments. Having noticed the untapped potential in the Indonesian market for digital ecosystems, East Ventures began to support this growth which started with a strikingly low level of internet and mobile phone penetration in 2009 to almost 80% today, becoming a stable economic driver in the Southeast Asian region.
In the next 10 years, Indonesia will enter an early demographic dividend era, leading up to the peak of the demographic dividend about 20 years from now. By then, almost 206 million people will be in their productive age, theoretically able to support their dependents. The majority of the workforce in the next 10 to 20 years will be digital natives, led by Generation Z and supported by a mature Millennial generation. A significant portion of the productive population is coming of age. These circumstances present a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform Indonesia into a high-income country and catalyse the emergence of new business opportunities.
While 2023 has been an economically tumultuous year for most establishments, and East Ventures was no exception, the company held fast to their belief that highly adaptable drivers are the key to remaining stable, and to even be optimistic about the future. The tech industry has weathered the intense storms of crises of the past 2 years, but the economies of the Southeast Asian region are well-positioned to come out shining in the next economic recovery cycle.
In May 2023, East Ventures successfully launched the Growth Plus fund, through which it secured $ 250 million worth of funding which will provide resources to the high-potential growth portfolio companies for scaling up. Five months later, East Ventures identified and established opportunities to build investment corridors between the SEA and South Korean venture ecosystem, worth $ 100 million. The first close of the fund is expected in June 2024. A $ 30 million healthcare fund was also established the company in Indonesia, which will drive innovation across the country.
Collectively, these funds will support diverse sectors, regional collaborations and forging a productive and healthy Southeast Asian region overall.
2023 saw East Ventures sealing 63 deals and welcoming 29 brand new portfolio companies while disbursing almost $ 80 million to the seed and growth portfolio companies that are under its funding umbrella. With a combined GDP of $ 4 trillion, a population of 650 million, more than 70 million SMEs and a potential for an economic boost of $ 20 billion, the region is full of promising investment opportunities. Collaborations between the countries of the region can create significant partnerships across borders, but within the region.
Through the year, East Ventures took part in several important events, including programme aimed at strengthening legacy projects, trade and investment facilitation programmes, the Carbon Centre of Excellence (CCOE) and other impactful initiatives.
The launch of the first Climate Impact Innovations Challenge (CIIC) is noteworthy, as Indonesia’s largest climate-tech pitching competition. In this first round itself, the programme received over 330 applications from across the region and beyond, and four winning companies were chosen from each unique track; renewable energy, food and agriculture, mobility and ocean.
Having done much more than merely keeping afloat over the past few years, East Ventures looks towards 2024 with renewed hope for a bright and eventful year ahead. Entering its 15th year with caution, the company’s managing partner Roderick Purwana says: “Entering 2024 comes with uncertainties. Geopolitical tension in some countries and the instability of the global economy have led to substantial volatility. However, we see positive signs. We are staying aware, closely monitoring, and focused on our objectives regardless of external fluctuations.”
“Whether the upcoming generation will be able to realise the ‘2045 Golden Indonesia’ vision or become a demographic liability depends on our readiness to prepare and act now,” Willson Cuaca, founding partner at East Ventures, concluded.