Digital investment platforms grow in Indonesia

Written by Kapronasia || April 01 2021

Heading into 2021, Indonesia's prospects for fintech investment were looking pretty good. Among Asia's key emerging markets, Indonesia checks all the right boxes. It is huge, relatively open to foreign investment, has a fast-growing economy (hindered by the pandemic for now, but certain to rebound sharply) and has a large unbanked population. With most Indonesians new to retail investing, fintechs see a strong opportunity to get in on the ground floor. Since January, several Indonesian online investing startups have closed successful funding rounds.

In January, stock-trading platform Ajaib raised US$25 million in a Series A round. Ajaib Group focuses on the youth market and first-time investors. It charges a low fee for its services. The company says it has roughly 1 million monthly users. The Ajaib user base contrasts with traditional Indonesian stock investors, usually high-net worth individuals using offshore brokers.

In late March, Ajaib raised an additional US$65 million from investors led by Silicon Valley-based Ribbit Capital, bringing the total funds raised in its Series A round to a whopping US$90 million. "Ajaib is at the forefront of the revolution [in retail investing] and on their way to building the most trusted brand in the market,” Micky Malka, managing partner at Ribbit Capita, said in a statement. 

In February, FUNDtastic raised US$7.7 million in a Series A round led by Ascend Capital Group. The company plans to diversify from mutual funds and gold investment into retail bonds, insurance and peer-to-peer lending.

FUNDtastic has been growing expeditiously since its acquisition of the investment platform Invisee (also based in Indonesia) last year. Its user base remains relatively small at 110,000 but that is a 500% increase from 2019. It currently manages about US$14.2 million in funds.

About a month after FUNDtastic closed its Series A round, Pluang - another Indonesian online investment platform - announced it had raised US$20 million in a pre-Series B round led by OpenSpace Ventures. Also participating was Gojek's investment arm Go Ventures. Pluang can be accessed through Gojek's app among others.

Pluang says that it differs from its competitors by tailoring investment products for investors with limited funds. These include investment accounts for crypto, U.S. equity indices and gold. The company plans to use its new capital injection to develop additional asset classes, including government bonds.

In a statement, Pluang founder Claudia Kolonas said that "we believe everyone should have the opportunity to grow their savings, and our new products will reflect that."