Make Ideas Work
    Category: Private Money By : Gloria Haraito Read : 1771 Date : Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 09:48:13

    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    In 2011, tech experts Edward Ismawan Chamdani and Andi Surja Boediman set up IT consulting firm PT Ideosource. Business was fine, but they wanted more. “Then we met some investors who suggested that we create a fund,” says Edward. That good advice led them to want to change their focus from consulting into one that both incubates and funds tech startups mid-year 2011. Its website proudly states: “Incubator and venture capital in Indonesia.” The firm's tagline is: “Make ideas work.”

    One of the first big hurdles for the two was raising funds. Many were reluctant to put money into a new and risky fund for investing in tech startups—where failure rates are high. However, after many meetings, they managed to raise $5 million. Today, Ideosource has become one of the leading incubation and venture capital firms for tech startups, with a portfolio of 10 investee companies. They encompass the digital industry, such as content, media, e-commerce and infrastructure, and include companies such as the successful online gamer TouchTen.

    Ideosource has four members on its investment committee: Edward, Andi, PT Trikomsel founder Sugiono Sugialam and the former Yahoo Indonesia Country Manager Pontus Sonnerstedt. “We are open to investing seed money, funds for an early stage startup, expansion capital for a newly profitable company, even all the way up to bridge financing,” says Andi, who attended New York Film Academy and San Francisco State University.

    Ideosource takes an activist approach. It incubates some companies, and with others it is still very much hands-on, giving them advice and access to their network of contacts in the industry. It also helps in areas such as strategic partnerships, intellectual property and marketing.

    One of the firm's successful investee companies is TouchTen. The company's Hachiko game was mentioned by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt as one of three Indonesia success stories in a 2011 speech he gave in Bali. The game was one of the top ten downloads in Apple's App store in the U.S., Japan and Indonesia. The company now has revenues of about $50,000 a month. Ideosource committed up to $1 million to the firm.

    According to Anton Soeharyo, co-founder and chief executive of TouchTen, he could have actually gotten funding from parents or relatives but preferred to get it from Ideosource. “We chose Ideosource to be our venture capital because they offered value added,” says Anton. Now TouchTen has 15 applications.