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Who are the Top Startups in 2018 Fueling Indonesia’s Economy

top companies in indonesia, cityscape with names of companies

Indonesia has been experiencing strong economic growth in the past few years because of digital inclusion. Its economy has been growing at a steady rate of five percent per year and is expected to come as the fourth largest economy in the world by the year 2050. The flourishing economy has brought about a growing middle class that is digitally savvy. In fact, Indonesia has a population of over 260 million people, with about 79 million active social media users. Because of this, tech startups in Indonesia are gaining a lot of attention and funding from local and international investors. Great startup companies have cropped up in the past few years, forever changing the economic landscape of the country.

The following is the Bold Business list of Indonesia’s top startups for 2018:

The company started in 2010 as a motorcycle ride-sharing app. Since then it has evolved into a mobile platform for various on-demand lifestyle services. Apart from transportation, app users have a wide range of services to avail—logistics; food, grocery, and medicine delivery; shopping delivery; entertainment tickets; massage and beauty services; professional cleaning; automotive solutions; and digital wallet and bills payment. It is one of Indonesia’s unicorns, and its total disclosed funding has already amounted to $2.1 billion from investors including Allianz, Temasek Holdings, Tencent, and Google. As of February 2018, the company reached a valuation of $5 billion. It is a startup continually expanding with plans of venturing into the video streaming and online content industries.
Founded by Silicon Valley engineers, Traveloka is an app and website providing travel solutions such as flight and hotel bookings, travel packages, connectivity products, and other modes of transport. It is now available in Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.  Now the app is celebrating more than 30 million downloads, making it the most popular travel app in the region. Its funding has totaled to $500 million, from investors such as Global Founders Capital, East Ventures, and Expedia. It is also one of Indonesia’s startup unicorns.
One of the top companies in Indonesia, Tokopedia is the second startup ever to become a unicorn in the country. It enables consumers, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and business owners to shop and maintain their online presence without charge. Thus it has become one of the largest marketplaces in Indonesia. It is also the top funded startup, with about $1.3 billion from its giant investors like Alibaba from China and SoftBank from Japan. Tokopedia has also launched its virtual credit card in beta, contributing to the country-wide effort for cardless shopping.
It is an e-commerce leader in Indonesia. It offers a wide range of products—from fashion, electronics, health and beauty, home, and others. It is the pioneer in O2O shopping, (online-to-offline and offline-to-online). This allows customers to pay, pick up, and even return products in any Matahari Department Store all over the country. It has received about $142 million in funding from its three main investors—Matahari Department Stores, the Lippo Group, and Mitsui & Co.
The company is one of the great startups in the e-commerce industry as it allows scalable selling and buying. Any individual or corporate organization can open an online store through Bukalapak, and sell to prospective buyers all over Indonesia either by the unit or in bulk. It has also become a unicorn thanks to its investors Emtek Group, Gree Ventures, 500 Startups, and Queens Bridge Venture Partners.
Customers can shop online without a credit card. Akulaku then gives its customers options to pay for their orders through cash, bank deposit, and other means. The app aims to be inclusive, so everyone will be able to shop online, which initially was exclusive to credit card holders. Akulaku has raised a total of $150 million in funding. Its investors, Sequoia Capital, FinUp, DCM, Shunwei China Internet Fund, and many others contribute to the increased funding in the past two years alone.
Kredivo, by FinAccel, also gives customers instant credit to shop online. Customers can ‘buy now and pay later’ through flexible payment plans—starting from 30 days up to 12 months. It is a highly disruptive way of e-commerce purchase financing. As of July 2018, it has secured $30 million from some of the biggest investors in the region: 500 Startups, Jungle Ventures, GMO, and AlphaJWC.
PT MCash Integrasi
The company specializes in providing innovative digital kiosks that offer numerous services. These kiosks can be accessed in countless retail shops and give customers a physical experience of their transactions. The digital kiosk can help customers buy tickets, pay bills, buy sim cards and gift vouchers. Because of its accessibility, PT MCash Integrasi has acquired $43 million in funding. Its investors, while undisclosed, come from the UK, US, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong.
Pundi X
Pundi X is pushing for real-life applications of cryptocurrency. It allows people to purchase anything through the Pundi app on their phones for cashless transactions. Customers can also buy cryptocurrency through their apps, all through QR codes. It has also developed the XPhone, which does not require a mobile carrier to function.  Recently, the executives of Pundi X  made the first ever phone call on the blockchain. As it pulls cryptocurrency and blockchain into the mainstream, it secured funding of about $35 million. Its most recent investors are Karnika Yashwant and Dentons Rodyk.
Cocowork Formerly EV Hive, Cocowork strives to provide individuals and companies well-designed spaces conducive for collaboration. Cocowork currently has 21 locations all over Jakarta and Medan, helping professionals achieve their working and business goals. Earlier in the year, its recent investment round gathered $20 million, led by SoftBank Ventures Korea, H&CK Partners, and Tigris Investment, and a few others.
Alodokter is the leading health care portal in Indonesia providing quality content, medical service, and interaction with highly qualified and competent doctors. It is a disruptive mobile solution to its 17 million users, who can consult doctors at any given time and book appointments. Alodokter also contains complete databases for patients and doctors in Indonesia. As it gives patients better access to healthcare and healthcare information, it is an app that saves them money and effort in seeking help. Alodokter has a total of $11.5 million in funding—its most recent $9 million is from SoftBank Capital, FengHe Group, and Golden Gate Ventures.
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Push From Indonesian Government

In 2016, following a tumultuous year of economic retrenchment, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo determined that harnessing technology is the gamechanger the country needed. The Widodo administration sees technology as one of the drivers that could provide significant growth. It introduced an e-commerce roadmap, ten economic policy packages, and provided financing for small and medium businesses and tech startups. The Indonesian government was previously closed off foreign investments but has since then eased these limitations.

There has been so much help from the Indonesian Stock Exchange and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have facilitated incubators for startups in Jakarta and Bali. This would help these great startup companies have access to consultants, investors, accountants, lawyers, and investors in preparation for their IPO.

Widodo visited Silicon Valley in February 2016, where he obtained the commitment from Google to assist in training 100,000 mobile app developers. He also planned to produce 1,000 tech entrepreneurs by the year 2020. He also sought the help of Twitter and Facebook to ramp up their initiatives in Indonesia. Widodo also paid a visit to Plug and Play, one of the best tech accelerators in the United States.

Indonesia’s Nascent Digital Revolution

Four technologies are driving the digital revolution in Indonesia. The many great startup companies are intelligently utilizing them to elevate the country’s impact on the global economic stage. First is mobile devices and the Internet. Smartphones have become the number one device for accessing the Internet. In Indonesia, and the rest of the world most online traffic comes from mobile devices.

Second, there is cloud technology. As cheaper and faster Internet connections have been adopted, so has remote computing power. This has helped businesses increase efficiency, storage capacity, and improve cash flow.


Third, IoT’s prevalence has affected Indonesian businesses and homes. As Internet penetration has increased, connected devices have also been adopted. This helps create an advanced ecosystem that lays the foundation for other tech implementation in the future.

Lastly, there’s big data and advanced analytics. Big data has been instrumental in providing insights into the thousands and millions of data gathered with every online transaction.

These four disruptions are intertwined, and together are the key to accelerating Indonesia’s growth and impact in the global economy. Having a strong foundation in these technologies makes investments and innovations flourish across the country. However, while Indonesia has had impressive advancements, it still has a long way to go before it fully realizes its digital revolution.

New Batch of Great Startup Companies

What we mentioned are only a few of the many great startup companies that are enriching the flourishing Indonesian economy. They are creating great innovations, efficiencies, and jobs like never before, consequently reshaping the country’s local and global economic impact. Indonesia is expected to be the next hub for tech companies because of its high economic growth, large population, and untapped market potential. The startup landscape in Indonesia doesn’t just replicate other successful businesses like e-hailing or e-commerce, but is bold in exploring other markets, addressing many different needs of its vast population.

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