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Eight Indonesian Startups Achieve Unicorn Status on CB Insights’ List

A total of eight Indonesian technology startups have recently earned the prestigious title of “unicorn companies,” denoting a market valuation of at least $1 billion, according to the technology market intelligence firm, CB Insights.

Leading the pack is the delivery company J&T Express, emerging as Indonesia’s largest startup with a market valuation of $20 billion, solidifying its “decacorn” status.

Other notable Indonesian unicorn companies include the online hotel-booking platform Traveloka, valued at $3 billion, the online lender Akulaku ($2 billion), fishery farming company eFishery ($1.3 billion), fintech firm Dana ($1.13 billion), payment gateway provider Xendit ($1 billion), investment firm Ajaib ($1 billion), and the popular coffee shop chain Kopi Kenangan ($1 billion).

It’s worth mentioning that GoTo, the result of a merger between Indonesia’s leading e-commerce provider, Tokopedia, and the ride-hailing platform GoJek, did not make the list of unicorns.

Indonesia currently boasts nearly 2,500 startups, making it the largest tech ecosystem in Southeast Asia, accounting for approximately 53 percent of the region’s total startups.

A joint research effort by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company reported that Indonesia’s digital economy reached $77 billion last year, marking a 22 percent increase from the previous year. Projections suggest that the country’s digital economy will grow to $130 billion by 2025 and an impressive $360 billion by 2030.

However, the growth of startups has faced a slowdown as investors adopt a cautious approach in light of ongoing global challenges. These challenges include escalating geopolitical tensions, interest rate hikes in the US, and unchecked global inflation.

Wilson Cuaca, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the venture capital firm East Ventures, described the startup landscape in Indonesia as entering a new phase known as the “winter tech” era, following its peak in 2020-2021.

While there will be a gradual recovery next year, Wilson advised against speculative investments, noting that investors are becoming increasingly cautious in their funding decisions. Nevertheless, he remains optimistic, saying, “The good news is that there’s funding available for promising startups.”

In the first half of the year, East Ventures completed 17 investment deals with Indonesian startups, particularly in the fintech sector. Wilson emphasized their focus on startups led by founders possessing key characteristics, integrity, self-awareness, and paradoxical traits.

CB Insights’ comprehensive list of unicorn companies ranks China-based ByteDance, the owner of the video-sharing app TikTok, at the top with a staggering market valuation of $225 billion. Elon Musk’s SpaceX comes in second with a market value of $150 billion, while Singapore’s fashion e-commerce platform SHEIN holds the third spot with a market value of $66 billion.

Source: Jakarta Globe