Despite Dearth of Funding, Indonesian Climate Tech Startups Secure $31 M


Radhika Wijesekera –

Jakartha, INDONESIA (February 27, 2024) – Swap Energy, SolarKita and Synergy Efficiency Solutions, three climate tech startups under the NEX Ventures portfolio, have secured a total of $ 31, including follow-on funding.

“These three startups have demonstrated their resilience by achieving success in fundraising,” says Yeni Tjiunardi, managing director at NEX Ventures, who went on to say that this achievement was earned in spite of a 40% reduction in global funding across the climate tech sector in 2023.

With over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is the world’s largest island nation. The archipelago has played a key role in regional trade since the seventh century, with trade occurring between the Indian subcontinent and mainland China through its ports. Today, the country has a mixed economy, with both the government and private sectors playing key roles.

Indonesia is the only Southeast Asian member state in the G20, is home to the largest economy in the region, and is the 16th biggest economy in the world by GDP. Taking the top spot, the country’s service sector accounts for over 43% of GDP (2018).

The country has an abundant natural heritage of tropical rainforests, and accompanying flora and fauna, the conservation of which companies pay special attention to when designing their operational processes. The three startups of Swap Energy, SolarKita and Synergy Efficiency Solutions deploy solutions that align with the country’s climate and energy goals, ranging from solar to energy storage:

  • Swap Energy promotes swappable battery technology, allowing riders of two-wheelers in Indonesia to effortlessly exchange depleted batteries, as a boon to the EV revolution
  • SolarKita provides end-to-end solar services for the residential market, with the aim of building an integrated community of rooftop solar users in Indonesia
  • Synergy Efficiency Solutions designs, finances and implements a variety of energy-saving solutions

NEX Ventures plans to encourage early-stage investments in the clean energy sector by collaborating with other investors and providing strategic guidance to support its portfolio of companies. The Indonesia 1 Fund has jointly invested with Schneider Electric Energy Access Asia (SEEAA) in SolarKita and with the Southeast Asia Clean Energy Facility (SEACEF) in Synergy Efficiency Solutions. Meanwhile, Swap Energy secured an investment of $ 22 million by December 2023 for their Series A round of funding.

Overall, Indonedia 1 Fund’s portfolio of companies has reduced over 165,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to planting approximately eight million trees.

Meanwhile, with Prabowo Subianto’s election as the country’s next president, the country’s tech startup scene is expected to remain stable. One such planned programme is a loan scheme for tech and innovation-based businesses. It will be akin to applying for a bank loan, except that the capital will be sourced from the government’s budget and not from a third party.

By simplifying regulations and providing incentives to overseas players, foreign investment will be a key focus for the new government; eliminating the need for Indonesian startups to establish parent entities in Singapore, which is frequently done at present.

Moreover, electric vehicles will continue to be a priority, with the state-owned Indonesia Battery Corporation building an EV battery factory in West Java in partnership with South Korea’s LG Energy Solution and Hyundai Motor Group. This is expected to be the country’s first and biggest EV battery manufacturing facility, and is expected to start operations later this year. By tapping into the country’s nickel resources, the new leaders hope to make Indonesia the undisputed “king” of EV batteries globally.