Jakarta. Lippo Group is ramping up its focus on digital technology as one of its core businesses, in addition to healthcare and property.
“We cannot deny how digital technology will continue to become increasingly dominant in Indonesia. Our approach may be different, and that is by forming partnerships and becoming an investor,” Lippo Karawaci chief executive John Riady said in Jakarta on Thursday.
It was in 2014 when Lippo began investing in startup companies.
“It was called Venturra. At the time, if we entered all tech companies in Indonesia like Tokopedia, Traveloka, Gojek, the total capitalization was around $60 million,” he said.
He then shared the four strategies he sticks to when navigating the tech industry. The first is investing in early-stage tech companies. At this stage, Lippo invested in moderate amounts.
The group’s investment in the ride-hailing firm Grab at the time was about $50,000. Whereas its investment for edutech firm Ruangguru and beauty-tech Sociolla stood at Rp 3 billion and Rp 5 billion respectively. These companies have now grown massively since then.
Lippo’s second strategy is to partner up. Among others through its partnership with China’s insurtech Ping An in a joint venture to establish a fintech firm in Indonesia.
The third is later-stage investing where Lippo invests in tech giants like Bukalapak and GoTo.
And last but not least is transforming its very own companies.
Lippo’s investment company Multipolar (MLPL) recently underwent a rebranding by switching its logo and embracing a new identity. It now goes by the name MPC. By taking on a “The Future is Digital” concept, MPC sharpens its focus as a leading tech investment company in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
This transformation marks a change in Lippo’s strategy towards the flourishing digital industry. A recent study by Google, Temasek, and Bain reported that Indonesia’s digital economy could reach $330 billion in value by 2030.
And to seize that opportunity, MPC will focus on four pillars — namely early-stage funding, growth and later-stage funding, portfolio digitalization, and the doubling down of its role as a local partner to global companies.
MPC has raised funding by partnering with Tokyo Century Corporation.
MLPL managed to secure $50 million in fresh funds through the purchase mechanism of convertible instruments for a tenor of 3 years with a 1-year extension option.
MPC has also formed a joint venture with Luno to unlock Indonesia’s crypto asset potential. Luno is a cryptocurrency platform and one of Lippo-backed Venturra Capital’s portfolio.
Another key transformation is by inviting strategic tech investors like Aplikasi Karya Anak Bangsa (Gojek) to Lippo’s retailer Matahari Putra Prima (MPPA).
Gojek’s presence as MPPA’s investor and shareholder has made MPPA an omnichannel retail player in Indonesia. As a result, MPPA’s online sales enjoyed significant growth in the third quarter of 2021, representing 11 percent of the total sales.
Lippo’s internet service provider Link Net also focuses on better implementing the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles.
This effort bore fruits. The company booked an income of Rp 2.2 trillion in the first semester of 2021, up by 11.7 percent year-on-year.