Indonesian mobile carrier Indosat Ooredoo and VC firms Mountain Partners and Kejora Ventures yesterday announced that they’ve joined forces to form a new investment vehicle: Ideabox Ventures.
This fund will support pre-series A startups with up to US$500,000. Ideabox Ventures will look at startups in ecommerce, web services, fintech, media, and security.
“In essence we’ll invest in startups that look at growing markets,” said Andy Zain, managing director of Kejora Ventures at the fund’s launch event.
Unlike most other funds, Ideabox Ventures hasn’t set aside a fixed amount to be spent on startups. It also doesn’t take money from other partners.
“We’ll continue investing in a sustainable manner. And each year, we plan to be able to give funding to about six or eight startups,” said Alexander Rusli, CEO at Indosat Ooredoo.
The three partners behind Ideabox Ventures also run the Ideabox accelerator which was established in October 2013. So far, they’ve had three batches of startups go through their program.
Despite the similar name, Ideabox Ventures and the Ideabox accelerator are separate entities. The fund can invest in startups that go through the program but is not restricted to them.
Getting past the early stage
Startups that complete the Ideabox accelerator now have access to a variety of opportunities for follow-on funding. There’s Kejora Ventures itself, which tends to look at series A-stage companies. It’s only funded one #startup out of the accelerator program it co-manages, point-of-sales-software Pawoon.
Then there’s SB ISAT, a US$50 million startup fund Indosat Ooredoo established in partnership with Japanese telco SoftBank in 2014. It also looks at slightly later stages. (Disclosure: SB ISAT is an investor in Tech in Asia. Please see our ethics page for details.)
SB ISAT has co-invested with Kejora Ventures, but so far it hasn’t backed any of the startups out of the Ideabox accelerator.
As the latest addition to Kejora’s growing startup mentorship ecosystem, Ideabox Ventures might be the right fund for startups who need to make the crucial step from very early stage to where their product and traction are mature enough to raise larger ticket sizes.
This article first appeared in Indonesian, written by Aditya Hadi Pratama. Information was translated and edited for this version.