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The Next Unicorn Was Expected to Emerge in Indonesia

Ministry Technology Kominfo Rudiantara

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo) through its Minister, Rudiantara, said that this year it is more likely for another unicorn startup to emerge in Indonesia. This startup is said to be engaged in the educational technology industry (edu-tech).

Rudiantara said that the government continued to collaborate with startup companies to support the growth of their businesses. This year there will still be another startup emerging in Indonesia. Meanwhile, the existing one might receive its unicorn status this year.

“This is merely my estimation so I can’t be sure. It indeed depends on who wants to invest in this edu-tech. This startup is the one who’s funding has been in the upper rounds, not seed capital or series-A level but in series D or above,” said Rudiantara.

20% of the State Budget Must Be for Education Sector

According to Rudiantara, the inclusion of the edu-tech sector as a unicorn in Indonesia is in line with the constitution which states that a minimum of 20% of the APBN budget (State Budget) must be budgeted for the education sector. He said that prospective investors would take a chance.

“Logically, investors would see where the money goes. Now from our APBN, based on the constitution the 20% must be spent on the education sector. If next year the budget is IDR 2,500 trillion, it means that 500 trillion for education,” he said.

To support this company to become the next unicorn startup, Rudiantara promised to immediately facilitate it. “That’s why the government has the Next Indonesian Unicorn (NexICorn) program,” he said. Rudiantara added that with 10-20% of the State Budget, this startup would be able to become the next unicorn.

Currently, Indonesia has four unicorn startups or one which has value above USD 1 billion. They include Gojek (ride-hailing) which has a valuation of USD 10 billion, Tokopedia (e-commerce) with USD 7 billion, Traveloka (online travel) with USD 2 billion, and Bukalapak (e-commerce) with USD 1 billion.

Rumors about Which Startup That Would be the Next Indonesian Unicorn

Then, which startup would be the next unicorn from Indonesia? Unfortunately, Rudiantara has not revealed it yet. Some rumors said that Tiket.com (online ticketing), OVO (fin-tech), TaniHub (agriculture e-commerce), Ruang Guru (education), Ralali (e-commerce), and Modalku (fin-tech) would be the next unicorn.

Since Rudiantara said that it would be an edu-tech startup, Ruang Guru is likely to be the next unicorn he is talking about. Ruang Guru is known to be an edu-tech startup that would be funded by SoftBank, an investor from Japan.

Regarding this issue, Ruang Guru’s CEO and Founder, Adamas Belva Syah Devara, said that his party is currently collecting some funds. However, he did not want to talk more about who the investor is. “Everything is now ongoing. I can’t comment more about it,” he said.

Once collected, this startup plans to use the fund for developing new products and hire more employees. Belva said that this year there would be big funds from investors. He also said that his startup is going to expand to other countries.