Kompas Invests in Urbanesia, Becomes a Major Shareholder


Selina Limman, the CEO of Urbanesia.com (Right)

Early this week Kompas, Indonesia’s biggest national newspaper, invested in Urbanesia [1]. The signs were really there as Edi Taslim, the vice director of Kompas.com, attended Jakarta Ventures Night 2012 held by East Ventures [2] to deliver a keynote.

This investment by Kompas could prove to be vital as they are looking to expand to hyperlocal news. We spoke with Selina Limman, the CEO of Urbanesia.com, to find out more about this:

1. Is this an acquisition? Is Kompas getting a majority share here?

KCM (Kompas Cyber Media) sees a lot of potential in Urbanesia in terms of user base (youth and lifestyle focus) and business model. In addition the nature of the product in terms of basic function and content is complimentary to what KCM have now. They are looking to invest a lot in terms of resources, therefore they [sought out] more stakes in Urbanesia. It’s not an acquisition because the management team still has a big interest in Urbanesia. What they see is not merely the product but the team behind it, and they want to keep the soul of Urbanesia.

2. What do you expect after this investment from Kompas? What will 2012 be like for Urbanesia?

We expect to grow more users, expand to other cities and monetize. The result of Urbanesia’s search widget placement proved that Kompas is the right strategic partner for Urbanesia. We get very good traffic from Kompas users. The average page/visit of visit from the search widget is 50, even for new visits. A Kompasianer wrote a very warming and supportive blog post about Urbanesia, after i presented at Kompasianival. Before this he only knew Urbanesia as a website that popped [up] once in a while on google search result. The post comments showed how other Kompasianers have been benefited a lot from Urbanesia.

We are also excited about expanding through Kompas Gramedia network’s local office across Indonesia. They own local newspapers in 30+ cities in Indonesia. Kompas.com has been working on hyperlocal sites, and they focus more on neighborhood news. We could use the Urbanesia API to create a directory feature on these local news sites.

3. Can you share some recent stats or milestones for Urbanesia?

  • Unique visits per month: 370,000
  • Duration per visit: 11 minutes
  • Registered users: 30,000
  • Pageviews per month: 1700,000

4. You said on the Urbanesia blog that you will finally monetize this year , how specifically?

KCM is very innovative in creating new revenues, and they’re very supportive towards Urbanesia’s business model because they have the same vision as us. Edi Taslim himself has lots of monetizing ideas to be implemented on Urbanesia. In terms of monetization, we are planning to launch a premium business profile in March and Urbanesia Coupon shortly after. Meanwhile the Kompas.com ad sales team can’t wait to sell Urbanesia display ads because we have pretty good targeted traffic, with brand value.

Aiming to launch features that will help monetize Urbanesia (such as Premium Business Profile, Urbanesia Coupon, Mobile Apps, and Urbanesia v2.0) it’s a wise move for both Kompas and Urbanesia to maximize theirs strength and hopefully eliminate weaknesses. Congratulations to Urbanesia and Kompas from the PO team!

  1. Through its subsidiary PT Kompas Cyber Media, the holding company for Kompas.com.  ↩
  2. Disclosure: Joshua Kevin is an associate for East Ventures. East Ventures is an investor in PO [UPDATE: Later rebranded as TechinAsia].  ↩
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