Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

STB partners with Traveloka, Trans Digital Media to welcome Indonesian travellers in SG

Singapore – The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has partnered with Traveloka and Trans Digital Media to welcome Indonesian travellers in Singapore as part of its ‘SingapoReimagine’ recovery campaign.

To drive visitation, STB has undertaken these two Memoranda of Cooperation (MoC), which is their first key lifestyle and travel partnerships inked in Indonesia since the pandemic, to position Singapore as the holiday destination of choice with great offers following the city’s reopening to fully-vaccinated visitors with no quarantine and testing requirements under the Vaccinated Travel Framework.

In addition, STB has partnered with three Indonesian celebrities; Sarah Sechan, Marissa Nasution dan Denada Tambunan to showcase a different side of what the city has to offer, from exciting new attractions and novel dining concepts to wellness retreats and sustainable experiences for its 3-part SingapoReimagine video series.

John Conceicao, executive director Southeast Asia, of the Singapore Tourism Board, said, “With the strong rebound in the Indonesia market in recent months as a result of quarantine-free and test-free travel for the fully vaccinated, we are doubling down on our SingapoReimagine recovery campaign to maintain top-of-mind awareness and recapture mindshare amongst our target audiences. Through our partnerships with Traveloka and Trans Digital Media we hope to entice Indonesian travellers with a wide range of curated tactical offers such as flight and hotel packages and other lifestyle offerings to drive and sustain visitorship through to next year.”

The partnership with Traveloka will drive interest to a wider target audience and provide an easier booking experience for Singapore offerings across five markets in the Southeast Asia region, namely Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam. STB Indonesia had previously partnered with Traveloka in 2019 before the pandemic, and with the improving travel situation regionally, this partnership is timely to reignite the pent-up travel demand and sustain the recovery momentum.

Shirley Lesmana, chief marketing officer at Traveloka, commented, “We are very excited to partner up with STB to offer many of Singapore’s reimagined experiences through our all-encompassing superapp. Before the pandemic, Singapore was consistently amongst the top 3 tourist destinations for Indonesians, and we are hoping that this partnership will continue the momentum, revitalising the wanderlust in Indonesians to travel to Singapore.”

Meanwhile, STB hopes its first of its kind partnership with the Trans Digital Media group will help to drive demand and actual bookings for leisure travel to Singapore. The partnership with Trans Digital Media will see AntaVaya – one of Indonesia’s largest travel agencies, creating new Singapore products supported by exclusive Bank Mega deals and promoted throughout their media and retail outlets nationally.

Abdul Aziz, president director at Trans Digital Media, said “We believe that people are eager to start travelling again as the global situation continues to improve and allows for safer travel. We are truly excited about the collaboration with STB to strengthen the appeal of its tourism offerings to the Indonesian market. With this partnership, we hope to be able to support Singapore’s tourism recovery to emerge even stronger than before.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Local beauty brands dominate e-commerce market in Indonesia in Q1

Jakarta, Indonesia – Buoyed by the upward trend of e-commerce shopping and the tendency of Gen-Z consumers to favour relatable products, local beauty products are now able to compete and even surpass global brands. The top performers amongst these local brands are MS Glow and Scarlett, according to new data from Insignia’s e-commerce intelligent platform MarketHac.

During the first quarter of 2022, MS Glow has led the market with a share of 8.2%. Despite lower sales compared to 12.6% at the end of 2021, MS Glow was still at the top of the skincare category, followed by Scarlett and Somethinc, which remained strong at 2nd and 3rd places respectively since December 2021.

Meanwhile, an unexpected milestone was set by a local brand, more specifically in the eye makeup category. Viva, a brand with a long history in the beauty industry, broke into the top three most favoured eye makeup products, competing strongly with the second-ranked Wardah. In the lip colour category, local brand Implora managed to win the second-biggest market share of 15.5%, followed by Wardah with 10.4%, in March 2022. Interestingly, Hanasui, another local brand, went skyrocketing and caught up with Wardah, seizing 10.4% of the market share in the same month.

At the end of the first quarter of 2022, Scarlett dominated the market share of body care products with 42.1%, followed by Vaseline with 16.9%, and Nivea with 6.2%. With body lotion as its champion product, Scarlett was far ahead of the other brands.

Richard Ho, Insignia’s director, shared that local brands have been dominating the market share of beauty products across several categories, most notably in the skincare and body care categories.

“We see that local brands have been gaining more interest and trust. With the emergence of new local brands, the beauty products market becomes increasingly attractive and competitive,” said Ho.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesia’s ministry of communications brings “10×1000” fintech program to SMEs

Jakarta, Indonesia – The Ministry of Communication and Informatics in Indonesia (Kominfo) today announced its partnership with fintech training platform 10×1000 Tech for Inclusion (10×1000) to recruit local talents to enrol in 10×1000’s ‘Flex’ Fintech Foundation Program.

This partnership forms part of Kominfo’s Digital Entrepreneurship Academy (DEA) program, which aims to prepare and nurture talents to accelerate digital transformation in the field of entrepreneurship and to improve the digital economy, with a target of 60,000 people being trained in 2022.

According to Hary Budiarto, head of HR & research agency at Ministry of Communication and Informatics, the results of the program are expected to improve the quality of MSMEs and promote the digital economy in Indonesia. 

With the vision to train 1,000 emerging talents and tech leaders each year for ten years, 10×1000 saw a total of 1,067 learners from 66 countries and regions complete its “Flex” Fintech Foundation Program and Fintech Leadership Program in 2021. Of which, more than 150 learners were from Indonesia, making the country the second-largest globally in terms of learner intake.

“We are deeply encouraged by the overwhelming responses from Indonesia last year, and excited to partner with Kominfo to further expand the reach in Indonesia and make ‘Flex’ available to more local entrepreneurs and professionals to enhance their fintech mindset, knowledge and skills to better allow them to drive digital economic growth,” said Jason Pau, program lead of 10×1000.

“Technology pervades nearly every aspect of our lives, and we hope this partnership will help Indonesia bridge its digital skills gap while empowering and improving the lives of local communities. Together with Kominfo and other local partners, we look forward to contributing more to Indonesia’s digital development goals,” added Pau.

Registration for the ‘Flex’ Fintech Foundation Program is now open through Kominfo’s Digital Entrepreneurship Academy website. The first batch of training is slated to start on 6 June. 

The partnership with Kominfo is the latest effort by 10×1000 to deepen its collaborations with partners worldwide. Globally, 10×1000 has forged partnerships with the IFC, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UN World Food Programme, SME Finance Forum Managed by the IFC, Dubai International Financial Centre as well as MDEC and KPMG, among others. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Salim Group, WIR Group form JV to develop metaverse platform

Jakarta, Indonesia – As the digital era poses challenges to businesses which require them to get support from advanced technology to excel in the domestic and global competition, Indonesia’s conglomerate company Salim Group has established a joint venture with technology company WIR Group to develop a metaverse platform that will help them maintain their business leadership and competitiveness, and at the same time drive the development of the metaverse platform in Indonesia. 

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for this strategic partnership was signed by Michel Budi Wirjatmo, WIR Group’s president director, and Axton Salim, Salim Group’s executive director.

Commenting on the partnership, Salim said, “We see that our partnership with WIR Group will bring us great opportunities for the growth and development of our business in the future. Through the adoption of the metaverse platform, we can explore the potentials and business opportunities that are unimaginable before.”

Meanwhile, Wirjatmo thanked Salim Group for its trust to collaborate and establish a joint venture with WIR Group, and underlined WIR Group’s commitment to keeping the trust by presenting leading technology solutions based on the company’s expertise and experience in developing metaverse technologies that have been recognized in many countries.

“We have the capability to build and develop virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI) that will support Salim Group in entering the borderless digital era through the metaverse technology that we are developing,” said Wirjatmo.

He added, “With our expertise and experience in building and developing metaverse technology since 2009 to complete thousands of projects in the US, Germany, Spain, Nigeria, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Myanmar, WIR Group is confident in assisting the industry, including Salim Group, to enter and explore the metaverse world, to make innovations and breakthroughs, and to optimize every opportunity.”

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Telkomsel, Kredivo partner to launch BNPL telco service ‘Telkomsel PayLater’

Jakarta, Indonesia — PT Telekomunikasi Selul ar (Telkomsel) collaborated with PT FinAccel Finance Indonesia (Kredivo) in order to develop a BNPL digital financial service solution specifically for telcos for all Telkomsel customers, namely Telkomsel PayLater. The collaboration agreement was marked by the signing of a Cooperation Agreement between the two parties in Jakarta.

In this collaboration, Telkomsel and Kredivo will optimize their digital ecosystem assets to open more opportunities by providing easy financing for integrated digital products, which can be accessed anytime and anywhere by customers through the MyTelkomsel application.

Wong Soon Nam, director of planning and transformation for Telkomsel, said, “BNPL’s digital financial services are currently growing in line with the increasing adoption of people’s digital lifestyles in the midst of a pandemic.”

Nam added, “This collaboration is a tangible manifestation of Telkomsel’s commitment as an enabler to open more advancement opportunities for all levels of society in obtaining innovative digital-based solutions that touch all sectors of life, which this time we implemented through the BNPL digital financial product specifically for telcos, under the name Telkomsel PayLater.”

This collaboration is also part of Telkomsel’s efforts to always make it easier for customers to always be connected and enjoy a variety of Telkomsel’s leading digital products and services for various needs. In order to open up all opportunities and provide digital financial services that exceed customer expectations, Telkomsel chose Kredivo as a strategic partner who has various experiences and ecosystem advantages for BNPL services.

Umang Rustagi, CEO of Kredivo Indonesia, said, “We are very excited to work with Telkomsel, one of the largest cellular telecommunications operators in Indonesia. This partnership brings us one step closer to realizing our vision of serving 10 million users in the next few years and is an acknowledgement of Kredivo’s leadership in Indonesia’s PayLater industry.”

“In addition, this is one of our latest achievements in providing white-label PayLater services to partners who are focused on the telecommunications sector,” Rustagi said.

As an initial stage, Telkomsel and Kredivo presented the Telkomsel PayLater service through the MyTelkomsel super apps in April 2022. The presence of Telkomsel PayLater opens a new digital experience for all Telkomsel customers in utilizing digital financial solutions more easily, comfortably, and safely.

To encourage the use of the newly presented digital solution, at this early stage Telkomsel PayLater through Kredivo will provide a PayLater limit of up to Rp. 30,000,000 which can be submitted and obtained by selected customers. This limit can be used by customers to finance various Telkomsel products, ranging from credit, data packages, digital products, and other leading Telkomsel services.

In order to open up more opportunities, Telkomsel PayLater will also be developed gradually outside the MyTelkomsel platform. This development will continue by Telkomsel. Telkomsel PayLater can also be a digital financial service solution for other Telkomsel digital ecosystems.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesia fintech Xendit to empower SEA startups, SMEs in latest funding

Jakarta, Indonesia – Xendit, an Indonesian fintech, has raised US$300m in their series D funding, aiming to empower startups and SMEs in the Southeast Asian region. In total, Xendit has raised a total of US$538m in funding.

Coatue and Insight Partners co-led the round with additional investment from Accel, Tiger Global, Kleiner Perkins, EV Growth, Amasia, Intudo, and Justin Kan’s Goat Capital.

Xendit has been making strategic investments that serve startups and SMEs in Southeast Asian countries. The company recently invested in Bank Sahabat Sampoerna, a private bank in Indonesia that focuses on micro and SME businesses, as well as banking-as-a-service for technology-enabled businesses. 

Meanwhile, to complement its expansion into the Philippines, Xendit made a strategic investment into the leading local payment gateway, Dragonpay, doubling down on its commitment to modernising hyper-localised payments infrastructure in each market it enters.

Tessa Wijaya, co-founder and COO at Xendit, said, “We will continue to deliver access to Xendit’s payments products and services to enable more businesses and people in the region to participate in the digital economy. Xendit will continue to expand into new markets – like Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam – where we can identify a need that doesn’t exist, similar to what we did in the Philippines. We plan to diversify our products with value-added services, like lending programs we’ve already started in Indonesia.”

Over the last year, Xendit tripled annualised transactions from 65 million to 200 million and increased total payments value from US$6.5b to US$15b.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Grab, BSSN ink MoU to scale cybersecurity literacy amongst driver-partners, merchants in Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia – Super app Grab in Indonesia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indonesia’s primary signal intelligence agency, National Cyber ​​and Crypto Agency (BSSN), to increase knowledge and development of human resources related to cybersecurity, especially for driver-partners and Grab merchants. 

The collaboration will hold various trainings and webinars related to cybersecurity literacy and digital economy security at GrabAcademy. It will also see Grab supporting BSSN for educational activities related to cyber security for the Indonesian people to avoid cyber attacks.

Hinsa Siburian, Republic of Indonesia’s head of the National Cyber ​​and Crypto Agency (BSSN), believes that they must have a strategy in carrying out the task of BSSN.

“And specifically for the problem of protecting national vital information infrastructure, Grab is included here, we must protect this so that business processes at Grab run safely and smoothly. If one day there will be a crisis, then we have also prepared how to manage a national cyber crisis,” said Siburian.

Meanwhile, Ridzki Kramadibrata, Grab’s president for Indonesia, shared that the use of technology also needs to be complemented by an understanding of digital literacy, especially for driver-partners and business partners.

“We hope that through collaboration that carries the GrabForGood spirit to bring positive impact from technology, Grab can continue to increase literacy awareness on cybersecurity so that everyone can participate in digital economy activities more safely,” said Kramadibrata.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesian VC firm East Ventures raises US$550m to focus on SEA startups

Jakarta, Indonesia – East Ventures, an Indonesian venture capital firm, has raised US$550 to focus on growing its portfolio by focusing on startups based in Southeast Asia, including locally in Indonesia.

The firm is managing over US$1b in assets under management and attracted US$6.7b in follow-on funding for the portfolio companies. East Ventures recorded more than US$86b of annualised GMV in aggregate by its portfolio. The firm will also ensure the incorporation of sustainability aspects in every practice and usage of the funds.

Willson Cuaca, co-founder and managing partner at East Ventures, said, “We are very bullish about Indonesia yet mindful of the global market condition. We have built a strong return track record for more than a decade and as the ecosystem flywheel effect kicks in. East Ventures is well-positioned to ride on it. We have been transforming ourselves from a seed-stage investor into a multi-stage investor and into becoming an efficient and robust platform to support entrepreneurship. We will allocate US$150m for early-stage deals and US$400m for growth-stage deals.”

Meanwhile, Roderick Purwana, managing partner at East Ventures, commented, “As Indonesia navigates and comes to terms with the post-pandemic era, rising digital adoption has pushed for advances in many sectors in the ecosystem. During this time, thanks to the continuous support from all relevant stakeholders, Indonesia is among the fastest-growing digital economies in Southeast Asia. Digitalization in Indonesia has become more robust, with 73.7% of internet penetration rate in 2021 and more equal digital competitiveness across the regions as shown by the increased EV-DCI score from 2020-2022.” 

He added, “We also saw the IPOs of some of Indonesia’s largest tech companies in recent timesーa significant milestone in paving the way for other startups in the country to follow suit. We believe the strong initiatives made by the relevant stakeholders, such as the government in promoting digitalization through G20 Presidency, will further elevate the tech ecosystem and create even greater investment opportunities in Indonesia. At East Ventures, we will continue to double down our investments in Indonesia.”

East Ventures has launched many strategic initiatives in supporting the overall progress and development of Indonesia, including supporting the digital transformation through its annual East Ventures – Digital Competitiveness Index report; and ensuring the sustainable investment and practices by being the first venture capital in Indonesia to sign the Principle of Responsible Investment (PRI), a UN-supported network of investors, and actively involved in many strategic initiatives to support the stakeholders, including government, business players, and society as a whole.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Tokocrypto, BRI Ventures’ accelerator programme brings Indonesian blockchain projects into global spotlight

Indonesia – Indonesia-based crypto assets digital exchange, Tokocrypto, has partnered with the government-owned bank’s corporate venture capital firm, BRI Ventures, for an initiative called ‘Tokocrypto Sembrani Blockchain Accelerator’ (TSBA) powered by TokoLabs, which aims to bring Indonesia’s blockchain startups to the world stage.

TSBA has incubated projects and elevated startups across four primary pillars – branding and marketing, investment strategies, investment landscape tactics, and access to fundraising opportunities. The central nexus of TSBA, which connects the four pillars of the accelerator programme, is the networking and mentoring support of mentors from the local blockchain scene. The programme also initiated the support of over 50 investors including Tokocrypto, Binance Labs, Cydonia, Solana Labs, and Signum Capital, as well as YGGSEA, and Alameda Research, amongst others.

Since the launch of the programme, participants have been connected with global mentors such as Tamar Menteshashvili from Solana Labs and Nicole Zhang for Binance Labs. Investors listed previously were invited to the programme’s Demo Day which took place on 11 April 2022, where participants demonstrated the progress and achievements that have been made to date. According to Tokocrypto, TSBA cohort participants have already raised US$40m.

Pang Xue Kai, Tokocrypto’s CEO, noted that the startups that were selected are a reflection of the flourishing blockchain ecosystem in Indonesia, and this is just the beginning.

“Two years ago, the term blockchain seemed foreign, but today it is a digital powerhouse that comes in the form of NFTs, decentralised finance, and even GameFi. At Tokocrypto, we are proud to be disrupting this industry,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Nicko Widjaja, CEO of BRI Ventures, commented, “We see blockchain as an integral part of the future of the internet, which will be the driving force of the digital economy. We hope that in the future there will be more use cases developed in various sectors using blockchain technology.”

Tokocrypto said that the accelerator programme is part of its multi-dimensional TokoVerse, which has been created to bolster blockchain technology adoption in Indonesia and beyond. Together with TokoLabs, Tokoverse has also developed Asia’s first crypto hub, T-hub, Indonesia’s NFT marketplace, TokoMall, and an educational mobile app, Kriptoversity, amongst others.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesian insurtech Qoala bags US$65m in series B funding to continue growth momentum

Jakarta, Indonesia – Qoala, an Indonesian insurtech startup, has announced that it has successfully raised US$ 65 million in Series B funding with Eurazeo, a European investment firm who led this round and joined by MassMutual Ventures and Sequoia Capital India, to strengthen Qoala’s commitment to make insurance accessible, easy to understand, and help consumers better with their claims.

Having grown 30 times since the Series A round in April 2020, Qoala is the fastest growing insurtech in SEA. Qoala has acquired over 50,000 insurance marketers and provides a platform supported by over 50 insurers for them to sell insurance from multiple insurers, while managing pre-sale and post-sale services. It also provides several innovative micro-insurance products through its partnerships with Traveloka, Redbus, DANA, JD.ID, Shopee, Kredivo and Investree amongs’t others.

Tommy Martin, co-founder and COO of Qoala, said that Qoala is the only insurtech with licenses in three markets in SEA and with this new round they are optimistic in sustaining our growth momentum.

“Our business in Thailand has also already grown by three times since we joined forces with FairDee in February 2021, which gives us confidence in our expansion capability,” said Martin.

Tara Reeves, managing director of Eurazeo, shared, “Qoala stands out amongst the insurtech companies due to its diverse team which has been able to deliver rapid growth with promising unit economics despite the pandemic. With regional presence and fast growth forecasted for the region, we are excited to lead this round and join Qoala in its journey.”

Qoala sets itself apart through a tech stack which enables them to offer industry-leading speed in policy issuance, instant pricing as well as an industry first – instant commissions to insurance marketers. These innovations not only solve very key issues for insurance marketers and consumers but also allow Qoala to acquire and service consumers at a lower cost, leading to superior unit economics. Global insurers like Sompo, AXA, and Chubb have also joined Qoala’s platform due to their focus on retail customers so they can fasten insurance adoption while maintaining healthy loss ratios.

The funding also demonstrates appreciation and trust from both Qoala’s existing and new investors to continue its growth in the insurtech sector. 

Meanwhile, Harshet Lunani, founder and CEO of Qoala, commented, “We will continue to invest towards scaling up Qoala’s reach in our core markets and focus on enhancing our technology and product experience to greatly reduce the hurdles to accessing insurance that are today still very significant,” said Harshet Lunani, Founder and CEO of Qoala.

Furthermore, Qoala aims to add over 250 employees this year focus on building out an engineering and product management hub in Gurugram, India. In parallel, Qoala also plans to grant employees with equity compensation and give them the right to acquire shares in the company to strengthen employee ownership in the company.

“Insurance penetration in Indonesia is currently only 2%, far behind the global average of 6%, with most consumers just beginning to understand the value of insurance and hence there is plenty of room for growth. Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia are amongst the top 10 fastest growing global markets for insurance in the next decade,” Harshet adds.