Fifteen Australian tech companies and investors from the Tech Central area in Sydney are exploring opportunities to expand into Indonesia in the Southeast Asia Tech Immersion Mission. Australian go-to-market accelerator Haymarket HQ said some delegates had visited Jakarta as part of the nine-day program that began on Monday.
The tech mission is funded by Investment New South Wales and aims to support Australian venture capitalists (VCs) and start-ups seeking opportunities in the region.
“The mission’s objective is to support Australian tech companies and investors in Indonesia due to its long-standing relationship between the two countries,”
Haymarket HQ CEO Duco van Breemen told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
Van Breemen has identified three sectors in Indonesia ripe with opportunities: the health industry, simple software solutions and electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure.\ Indonesia’s digital economy is projected to reach gross merchandise value (GMV) of between $220 billion and $360 billion in 2030 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19 percent since last year, according to the 2022 e-Conomy SEA Report from Google, Temasek and Bain & Company published in November.
It was expected to reach a GMV of US$130 billion in 2025 after contributing 38.5 percent of ASEAN’s digital economy potential in 2022, the report said.
Van Breemen added that the mission had scheduled more meetings with potential partners and investors in other ASEAN countries for its delegates until Oct. 3.
The Southeast Asia Tech Immersion Mission is the largest Australian tech mission since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam.
The program is part of Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy through 2040, and has funding exceeding $100 million allocated for expansion to the region.
“This mission serves as an initial step for Australian founders to familiarize themselves with the Indonesian market and its opportunities, given that mostly it’s their first visit,” Francisco Widjojo, CEO of Arkblu Capital and a coleader of the Australian mission, said on Tuesday.
Arkblu Capital is a private investment group with offices in Sydney and Jakarta, and is supporting the mission by providing delegates with access to its regional networks.
Despite the two countries’ historical proximity, Francisco acknowledged that only a few Australian start-ups had expanded to Indonesia country, but that this could change with the Australian government’s recent efforts.
Fransisco said Arkblu Capital’s strategy was to target the business-to-business (B2B) market across various sectors and find local partners that matched the strengths of Australian start-ups, as Indonesian firms excelled in the business-to-consumer (B2C) space.
“Australian firms tend to think globally from day one due to the small market [of] 26 million people, while Indonesian B2C [firms] tend to focus on the domestic market. That’s the biggest difference,” he said.
He also noted that some Australian firms would need to adapt when entering the Indonesian market.
OneQode cofounder Ben Cooper, who was among the mission’s delegates, said he had noticed a stark difference in how business was done between the Indonesian and Australian markets.
“The way business done in Indonesia relies a lot more on trust,” Cooper told the Post on Tuesday, saying how he had observed this trust-based approach when OneQode signed an agreement with Telkom’s international subsidiary Telin.
Under the agreement, OneQode plans to set up its Indonesian operations by seeking funding from local investors and employing local talents while maintaining the firm’s ethics and standards.