The Effect of Kaskus Funding Towards Startup Ecosystem in Indonesia
Rama Mamuaya - 7 April 2011
Kaskus’ receiving funding from GDP Venture made headlines, not only because of the agreement itself but also its impact to startup ecosystem in Indonesia in macro scale.
And we can’t avoid rumors spreading quickly that Kaskus is estimated as $60 millions $80 millions or even $100 millions of value. Kaskus never did confirm their valuation when funded by GDP, getting everybody curious.
It’s no secret that GDP Venture is part of Djarum Group working on internet technology, and for some time there are lots of big business groups aiming to invest in startup websites. Like one example is Sampoerna Foundation through striving Mekar.biz (update see below), another example is Bakrie Group that is starting to disclose their vision in incubating and investing in technology companies. And there are other gigantic groups that are preparing programs for them to enter startup technology.
Not wanting to miss the party telecommunication companies are entering the business starting with Bakrie Group. The idea was simple: telco can no longer sell airtime and SMS, the most they can sell is internet data package. And to do this they need content, local and foreign ones. This, is where startups take part as content providers for telco, and it looks like many telco have similar strategy. Some telcos assist startups by providing mobile payment platform, how cool is that?
Okay now back to investment process between Kaskus and GDP Venture, macro business people whom usually play in mining, agriculture, oil, and others are starting to aim at internet as the new land of promise. Some investors are starting to aim at technology but many are still skeptical towards internet or virtual world. This Kaskus funding process then plays important part in showing how an online forum when managed well can become highly profitable business.
This brings great impact for entire startup ecosystem, where more people are interested to invest in potential startup tech. Some conglomerates are already starting to invest in Indonesian startups, showing the trend that funding and investment growth are increasing this year and will most likely grow more for quite a longer time.
The question that will rise next is whether this is sustainable. Without wanting to be a party crasher, I think if there are too many investors invest in the wrong startups and fail, especially with extremely high and unreasonable valuation, this might triggered the next bubble like what happened in US and Indonesia during 2000s.
Disclosure: Daily Social is incubated by Merah Putih.inc and is part of GDP.
Update: Mekar.biz is a program to bring together angel investors with a startup, and does not invest directly into the startup. Thanks Dondi Hananto for the info.
Translated by Nita Sellya.