“The SB ISAT investment fund will allow Indosat to stay ahead of the fundamental changes in the telecommunication and internet industry and drive growth,” says Alexander Rusli, Indosat’s CEO and President Director.
Besides financing muscles, Rusli also says Indosat, together with SoftBank, is dedicated to providing “commercial, infrastructure, and strategic support to promising Indonesian technology companies.”
Prior to SB ISAT, Indosat also recently launched Ideabox, a startup acceleration program that will help three to five mobile app startups every six months to nurture them into proper businesses. Every startup picked by Ideabox receives $15,000 in seed funding plus other support including mentorship and office spaces. The only drawback is that startups under Ideabox are tied to a one year exclusive partnership with Indosat.
SB ISAT is yet another initiative in Southeast Asia by Japan’s tech giant SoftBank. Prior to today’s $50 million fund announcement, SoftBank has invested in Tokopedia (Indonesian e-commerce marketplace), Ini3 (Thai gaming company), and TMG (Singaporean gaming company).
At the Asia Leaders Summit 2014 held in Singapore earlier this year, Daniel Kang, managing director at SoftBank Ventures Korea, explained on stage that investing is a local business and therefore it took SoftBank two years before making its first investment (which is Tokopedia) in Southeast Asia. He also believes there are more opportunities yet to be found in Southeast Asia, which explains SoftBank’s recent activities in the region.
This month, the Asian tech and startup community has seen quite a number of new investment funds. Last week, we learned that Monk’s Hill Ventures, led by Singapore veteran entrepreneur and investor Peng Tsin Ong, will invest $80 million in technology startups from Southeast Asia to Silicon Valley. Gree Ventures announced that it added $50 million to invest in startups across Asia. And GGV Capital, whose portfolio of investees include companies like Alibaba, Youku, and YY, announced its $620 million fund dedicated to startups in China and Silicon Valley.