Jakarta. The so-called China Angels, an exclusive club of investors and entrepreneurs who have invested and founded billion-dollar technology businesses in China, see an enormous market opportunity in Indonesia and a chance for the country to follow in China’s footsteps to grow its tech startup industry, a technology venture fund focusing its investment in the archipelago, said in a statement on Tuesday (27/09).
Convergence Ventures said it brought eight high-profile investors and entrepreneurs, who are part of the China Angels, to Indonesia in June. They include Xu Xiao Ping, founder of the Zhen Fund, China’s largest seed-stage investor; Kai Fu Li, founder of the Sinovation Fund, a $1.3 billion venture fund and also Cai Wen Shen, chairman of Meitu Technologies, maker of the world’s largest digital photo application with over one billion users. The delegates visited two of Indonesia’s largest technology ventures, Go-Jek and Tokopedia. The investors and entrepreneurs also listened to elevator pitches from over a dozen early-stage ventures.
“We believe Indonesia, as the fourth most populous country in the world, has incredible market potential for startups in the internet space,” China Angels chairman Xu Xiao Ping said, as quoted in the statement. “During our trip, we met with impressive and resourceful entrepreneurs building rapidly growing ventures reaffirming our belief. We also see there are similarities in what we experienced in China five to seven years ago and this represents a great opportunity to invest both in terms of timing and proven models to invest into.”
Convergence Ventures organized the visit as part of its effort to introduce important digital stakeholders from China to Indonesia’s budding technology landscape and showcase the opportunities in South East Asia’s largest economy.
“As China’s technology market matures, domestic investors have started to seek opportunities abroad. Also Indonesia’s entrepreneurs can learn a lot from the experience of markets such as China so this is a great opportunity for everyone to benefit,” Convergence Ventures founding partner Adrian Li said.
Prior to moving to Indonesia, Li spent six years in China as an internet entrepreneur where he built an e-learning startup that was later acquired.
In moving to Indonesia, Li believed he saw an enormous market opportunity and a chance to apply the experience and network that he had built during his time in China to help empower local technology entrepreneurs.
Donald Wihardja, a partner at Convergence Ventures, who recently spoke at Beijing GMIC, China’s largest annual technology conference, and frequently advises the Indonesian government on technology related matters said: “China can play a significant role in supporting the development of Indonesia’s technology industry.”
“By facilitating connections between both markets we can provide access to entrepreneurs in Indonesia to both investment capital and know-how.”
This year Convergence Ventures has already organized introductory visits for five China-based funds to meet with Indonesian entrepreneurs, which have resulted in at two follow-ups on financing for its portfolio businesses.
Convergence Ventures, backed by its advisory board and limited partners from the United States, China and Indonesia, was launched in 2014 and has to date sank investments into 17 early stage technology businesses based in the archipelago. Its portfolio in Indonesia includes Qraved, Female Daily Network and Indotrading.