BRI Ventures Scores 150 Billion Rupiah in the First Close of Sembrani Nusantara
Celebes Capital, Grab Holding, Fazz Financial Group, Investree, and Pandu Sjahrir are participated as investors
Randi Eka - 30 November 2020
BRI Ventures today (25/11) announced the first closing of the Sembrani Nusantara Venture Fund. The value that was successfully booked reached 150 billion Rupiah; reached half of the total funds targeted at its launch in June 2020. Apart from BRI as a general partner, several investors are involved in this funding including Celebes Capital, Grab Holding, Fazz Financial Group, Investree, and Pandu Sjahrir.
He said his investment thesis is “beyond fintech”, which is targeting business areas outside the financial technology sector – adjusting the pillars of the “EARTH” sector (education, agro-maritime, retail, transportation/logistics, health). Sembrani will also focus on empowering SMEs; which will have an impact on strengthening BRI as the largest microfinance institution in the world.
To date, there have been two startups that have listed on Sembrani’s portfolio, but it’s still undisclosed.
“We are very pleased with the positive response generated from the investors of the Sembrani Nusantara Venture Fund in this first funding period. All of these investors are those who have experience investing in start-up companies and those who believe in the digital ecosystem in Indonesia. They believe in our goal to build sustainable future and startup companies,” BRI Ventures’s CEO Nicko Widjaja said.
The Sembrani Nusantara Venture Fund is also registered and supervised by the OJK. A venture fund is an investment contract scheme between the PMV (Venture Capital Company) itself and a custodian bank, which was created by OJK so that the venture capital company industry will be more willing to invest in shares. So far, the majority of local PMVs have played in profit-sharing financing, which is not much different from what financing companies do.
Nicko said in an interview that the launch of Sembrani was aimed at building an ecosystem that had been dominated by foreign PMVs. In the past, he thought the local PMV was not ready, but now is the right moment to show off on the national and regional levels.
It is undeniable that so far venture capital has tended to choose to take shelter under the regulations of neighboring countries. The issue of high taxation in Indonesia is the main reason. Capital gain tax application for PMV reaches 25% of the increase in equity value, while for individual investors it is 30%. Meanwhile, the capital gains tax in Singapore is only 5%.
The majority of local PMVs that fund digital startups and are registered with the OJK are part of the bank’s subsidiaries, including Central Capital Ventura (CVC chose BCA), BRI Ventures, Mandiri Capital Indonesia, and OCBC NISP Ventura.
Sustainable startups through IPO
Sembrani is a term used by BRI Ventures to describe sustainable local startups post the unicorn era. Sembrani is also known as Batara Wisnu’s riding horse in the puppet stories – it is said to represent the unicorn with local wisdom.
One of the steps to realizing this vision is to ensure that all aspects of the investment cycle runs well, through an initial public offering (IPO) as a first step towards becoming more sustainable. This was carried out by signing an MoU between BRI Ventures and the Indonesia Stock Exchange on November 11, 2020, with the intention of helping more startups to IPO on local exchanges.
BRI Ventures hopes that through Sembrani, stakeholders will open discussions to explore new business models so that in the future investors can participate in building venture funds in Indonesia. The structure of Sembrani is a Joint Investment Contract (KIB) which is similar to a Collective Investment Contract (KIK) in mutual funds which are generally known and supervised by OJK.
“Given our goal of supporting the local digital ecosystem and building IPO-worthy startups, we realize that the Sembrani Nusantara Fund can play a more active role in the local funding landscape in the future and build a venture capital industry that is competitive with Singapore,” said Nicko.
The investor composition, most of whom come from Indonesia, is interpreted as a big step to bring the local startup ecosystem to be more competitive in the global arena. Nicko explained that each investor will have a big contribution to the realization of this vision.
Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian