Lynk at Tech In Asia Conference 2019 in Jakarta – Day 1 Highlights

Here are some striking Day 1 highlights from the Tech In Asia Conference 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia from the Lynk Team:

1. SEA Digital economy session by Randy Jusuf (MD, Google Indonesia ) and  Rohit Sipahimalani (Joint Head, Temasek International) shared:
– SEA internet economy is at the tipping point of economic boom, hitting $ 100B in 2019, and on track to $ 300B by 2025, with double-digit CAGRs in SEA

– Indonesia and Vietnam’s internet economy is thriving faster and pulling ahead of the pack; as a comparison, there are 11 unicorn startups in SEA, of which 5 are based in Indonesia (as compared to much more mature markets like in LATAM, who currently boast of 12 unicorns)

– eCommerce is the biggest sector in the internet economy, with hyperbolic growth trajectory (7 times growth (GMV) in 2019, as compared to 2015)

– Digital Financial Services in SEA is also at an inflection point, with double digit growth and expected to reach $1 trillion by 2025

– “Funding is still healthy in SEA”, with $7.6B funding poured in to SEA for the 1H in 2019 (total of $37B since 2015)

2. Branding as The Super App  Session by Cherly Goh (Group VP Marketing, Grab)
– “Strategic partnerships are the way to go!”

– On building a brand: “It is important to be distinctive and reliable. Failures are expecte. It’s good to venture and experiment as the key thing is to build and come up with solutions that solve the problems.”

– On who is scarier: Investors vs Regulators: “Disruption is hard to understand and grasp, therefore regulators are more cautious about it.”

3. Funding for Startups Roundtable Session by East Ventures, Accelerating Asia, Openspace Ventures:
– Key point for startups: Understand the industry well, Understand well what value are you creating, Understand how your product roadmap would be for the next 2-5 years down the road

– “Referrals are the best way to reach VCs to pitch ideas; it involves a transfer of trust and is a way to get filtered from the other startups pitching to VCs”

– On reaching out to VCs: “Content and message matter! They aid in building credibility and trust early on.”

– VCs have different investment philosophies: some invest in startups even without viable products with focus on the founder and the core idea, and  instead more broader understanding of the risk factors, and also taking into account investing for growth vs investing for profit

– On team structure: Get a team to do fundraising so that C-levels can focus more on the operation side of the business and scaling

– On profitability and valuation: “Many startups have negative profitability, which is very normal. “Profits are meant to be reinvested for growth!” -remember that cashflow is  more important than profits

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