Nusantics Receives Series A Funding and Appoints Triawan Munaf
Nusantics announced a fundraising unpublished value at the Series A funding round led by East Ventures. Previously, East Ventures had invested in an initial funding round (seed) to a local startup in the field of genomics technology.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nusantics has successfully used the company’s capabilities in microbiome research to develop two generations of PCR-based Covid-19 test kits with high sensitivity and specificity levels.
The test kit is said to be able to detect various mutations of the coronavirus in Indonesia, including a virus strain that recently became an epidemic in the UK. The first generation test kits have been distributed to 19 provinces across Indonesia as part of the Indonesia Pasti Bisa movement collaborate with the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT).
Then, Nusantics partnered with Bio Farma in the development of a second-generation test kit that cuts the test diagnosis process to 3 times faster. This test tool is also claimed to be still relevant to the latest virus mutations detected in the United Kingdom. Bio Farma has produced and marketed both generations of test kits, with a production capacity of 1.5 million test kits per month which can be increased to 3 million.
“We are planning to develop a new product, namely a test kit that can detect viruses through saliva samples. The use of saliva increases the efficiency and safety level of medical personnel, and makes the sampling process more convenient,” said CTO Nusantics Revata Utama.
This test method, according to Revata, allows the detection of potential transmission because it can distinguish which sample is more infectious. In addition, we continue to optimize so that the test kits that have been produced can be used in all types of PCR machines in Indonesia,” said Revata.
Opens a Nusantics Hub in Jakarta
Since the initial funding round, Nusantics has opened the Nusantics Hub in Jakarta, the first microbiome laboratory in Indonesia to provide testing and consulting services for skin microbiome balance treatment.
The startup is currently also working with several companies in research and development projects related to microbiomes. This time Nusantics will use the funding in this Series A round to strengthen its research and development capabilities so that it can continue innovations in the field of microbiome analysis and medical diagnostic tools.
“Our short-term focus is on participating in pandemic response efforts, while our medium-term focus is on building public understanding of the relationship between microbiome diversity and health. We want to contribute to finding solutions to the impact of the Anthropocene (human-to-environmental impact), by utilizing the index biodiversity related to the microbiome,” said Nusantics CEO Sharlini Eriza Putri.
Triawan Munaf Becomes Nusantics’ Commissioner
In early 2021, a startup in the field of genome technology, Nusantics, besides obtaining Series A funding from East Ventures, also received additional personnel on the board of commissioners, namely Triawan Munaf.
Triawan Munaf was previously known to have served as Head of the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) in the first period of Jokowi’s administration (2014-2019). In President Jokowi’s second term, Triawan no longer served as Head of Bekraf. Bekraf was instead put together under the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.
After no longer serving as Head of Bekraf, Triawan was appointed as President Commissioner of PT Garuda Indonesia. In addition, the former musician of the Giant Step music group is now appointed as a commissioner at startup Nusantics.
“Indonesian youth must continue to innovate in the field of biotechnology domestically and collaborate with other stakeholders, including the government, in order to increase local resilience. Nusantics, has shown the spirit of collaboration and I am very happy to be part of their journey,” said Triawan Munaf.