In the past few years, Indonesian startups have been relying on venture capital firms as the main source of funding due to local companies not believing in or supporting the emerging tech ecosystem – but that notion is slowly changing. Today Tech in Asia receives word from Indonesian game developer Artoncode that it has just received seed funding from Indonesian media giant Emtek Group for an undisclosed sum. The two companies want to make and market quality homegrown gaming products and characters for a global market.
Founded in 2012, Artoncode has won several gaming awards, including the Indonesian ICT Awards 2012, Sparxup 2012, and Game Developer Award 2013. Its latest smartphone game, Faunia Paw, is published by Lyto Game and now has 19,000 monthly active users.
Emtek (IDX:EMTK) is the parent company of TV station SCTV, which has over 160 million viewers in Indonesia. It has other companies such as TV station O Channel and cable TV Nexmedia. This is Emtek Group’s first move into the gaming arena.
Artoncode CEO Indra Gunawan says that Emtek is looking to enhance its digital content services, with gaming content as one of its new business areas. The two companies share the same vision of creating Indonesian IP – things like game characters and franchises – that can sell well both nationally and internationally.
Artoncode will rebrand its music game Melodi as Harmoni with the help of the media giant. Furthermore, Artoncode is working with Surabaya-based story and game developer Vandaria, which has written a number of novels and created a card game based on the Vandaria universe. Artoncode plans to create games out of it, and may even create a short movie based on the franchise. Emtek’s animation studio and media prowess can help a lot with this project. With Emtek on board, the 18-man team at Artoncode will get assistance with things like financial affairs, legal, and a marketing strategy.
Major Indonesian companies are now beginning to see the value of investing in the nation’s startups. Earlier this year, an unamed Indonesian conglomerate invested in food discovery site Abraresto.Editing by Steven Millward