MDI joins Telstra Ventures

Metra Digital Investama (MDI), Indonesia’s Telkom corporate venture arm, has signed an agreement with Australian carrier Telstra’s venture capital arm, Telstra Ventures. The deal will see them jointly explore the investment opportunities in the growing tech startup scene in Southeast Asia. Nicko Widjaja, president of MDI, and Group Executive Internasional & new business head Telstra Cynthia Whelan signed the MoU in Jakarta last week.

Telkom Indonesia Director Indra Utoyo said the recent MoU will give Telkom access to Telstra’s experience and existing relationships in global startup centers in Silicon Valley, China and Israel. “Today, our continued partnership extends to collaborating on venture opportunities in the region, where we will again leverage both Telkom and Telstra’s deep local expertise as well as experience in global ventures investments,” said Pak Indra.

The MoU will give Telkom access to Telstra’s experience and existing relationships in global startup centers in Silicon Valley, China and Israel.

Telkomtelstra supplies network application services – corporate computer and telecommunications services – to large companies and enterprises based in Indonesia. The company is 51% owned by Telkom.

Over the past five years, Telstra Ventures has invested over $152.6 million (A$200 million) in more than 30 different technology companies. Telstra announced in the statement that the company believes now is the right time to collaborate more closely with Telkom, Indonesia’s largest telco company, to take a part to explore Southeast Asia potentials. There are many opportunities seen in areas like ecommerce, e-health, the internet of things (IoT) and fintech, Whelan added.

Telkom, through MDI has also invested in various potentials tech startups in Indonesia. The latest is when they led the $10 million pre-series B funding round of aCommerce.

“Through our existing joint venture with Telkom, Telkomtelstra, we have seen the pace with which new businesses are reaching scale in response to the digital transformation of the economy and the fact that the middle class in this part of the world is expected to double over the next decade,” she added.

A version of this appeared in Deal Street Asia on August 8. Read the full article here.

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