Telkom arm aims to be Indonesia’s SoftBank (The Jakarta Post)

With the support of its parent company Telkom Group, Metra Digital Innovation (MDI) Ventures capital investment companies aims to become the Softbank of Indonesia.

MDI wants to replicate the success story of Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank’s namesake investment arm in tapping into the rapidly growing capital business in the country, the company’s chief investment officer Joshua Agusta said, adding that the company’s investment returns from its venture capital business were quite encouraging.

He said the company’s total gains from one undisclosed exit last year alone reached Rp 24 billion (US$1.7 million), which is equal to 1.5 percent of Telkom’s Rp 1.55 trillion net profit growth in 2018. MDI’s internal rate of return, Joshua continued, also increased from 28 percent last year to 40 percent this year following three exits (start-ups Whispir, Wavecell and Red Dot) and one more slated for later this year.

With the undisclosed exit last year, three exits this year and the public offering of Japanese startup Geniee in late 2017, MDI has a total of five exits and expects another investment to go public on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) next year.

“Our aim is to have one portfolio that can drive Telkom’s enterprise value. Like Naspers and SoftBank’s [respective] investments in Tencent and AliBaba,” Joshua told The Jakarta Post in a recent interview.

Telkom is Indonesia’s largest telecommunications provider whose revenue last year reached Rp 130.78 trillion, which almost tripled the combined revenue of the country’s second and third largest telecom operators Indosat (Rp 23.14 trillion) and XL (Rp 22.94 trillion).

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The Jakarta Post

8 August 2019

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