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Key Takeaways From CyberAgent Ventures’ Net Impact

DeNA onstage at Net Impact in Jakarta.

CyberAgent Ventures Indonesia held its Net Impact Conference less than a week ago in the Grand Hyatt hotel, Jakarta. It is CyberAgent Ventures’ initiative to help improve the local startup ecosystem and to share knowledge between successful foreign companies and Indonesian entrepreneurs.

Big names from Japan such as DeNA, GREE, and of course CyberAgent itself were present, while Vietnamese companies such as NCT, Teamobi, and VNG were also there – since CyberAgent Ventures has a big presence in that country. What was different about this event was that Tencent and Sina, two of China’s biggest social media companies, were speaking for the first time in Jakarta.

Some key takeaways:

DeNA has a $5 billion market this year which is very high growth. It took only four years to do that. Top 20 titles from Mobage, the DeNA platform, see $1 million per month in sales. The company aims to boost its platform by focusing on certain regions, like China. Yesterday it recruited Sina Weibo as a distribution and login partner on its Mobage platform.

GREE is pushing its Gree Global Platform (GGP), which is the culmination of last year’s OpenFeint acquisition. The new platform puts its social games, mobile social games, and social networking service on one platform across multiple devices. It has partners in China and Korea, as well as game developers like Ubisoft and Gameloft, to name just a few.

With 190 million users in more than 100 countries, GREE aims to formally launch the GGP in April or May of this year. The company also shared some know-how at the Jakarta event, such as how it bases every decision on raw data, and how it updates games every week (day or even night, since these are online games not console-based ones). It also aims to spread profitable game-building know-how over the years as it grows; it currently has 1,200 employees and more than 12,000 global developers.

Tencent is an all-round internet giant in China: it has news, email, a search engine, online games, QQ browser, and the QQ IM which is being used by 380 million folks across all major platforms. Tencent also has its eye on Indonesia with an aim to get people onto its Qute (a group messaging app for feature-phones that’s said to be better than WhatsApp or Blackberry Messenger), and also its QQ Browser for mobile.

Sina onstage at Net Impact in Jakarta. Click to enlarge.

Sina might have gotten lucky with its Weibo service, which started as a simple Twitter clone, but it’s definitely not just a regular clone. Grwoing to about 300 million registered users in just two years, it now encompasses online browser games, a virtual currency, online storage, brand pages, charity pages, online polling, and so much more. Sina representatives in Jakarta revealed they will have a $200 million developers fund, enhanced Weibo for enterprise, and a plan to build an online payment platform as well (as its virtual currency is now tied to third-party solutions).

Vietnam’s NCT shared about how it started as a music website and then evolved into a platform where you can find services like matchmaking, e-commerce, social networking, or even online payment. VNG is also doing what all the major social games companies are doing – making itself into a social games platform.

Net Impact was definitely one of the best conferences in Jakarta yet (I’m stressing that last word), but it definitely was not perfect either. Most of the keynotes felt like they were hard sells for the company, whereas what I think we need is to learn how we, as Indonesian entrepreneurs, can take in their experience and build our own success stories. Still, props to the CyberAgent Ventures team for holding this Net Impact Conference.

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