These 3 Malaysian startups are gearing up to enter Indonesia, in search for potential partners

Anisa Menur
Malaysian startups entering Indonesia

The three Malaysian startups –Bantu.my, Mobiversa, and Recite Lab– are part of the Indonesian Market Immersion Program backed by Kejora Ventures and MDEC

The startups pose with Yacademy CEO and Founder Arne von Looveren (middle)

Jakarta-based digital education and training platform Yacademy today introduced the three Malaysian startups that are participating in their Indonesian Market Immersion Program (IMIP) at Kejora HQ, West Jakarta.

Backed by Kejora Ventures and The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), IMIP is a four-week-long programme that connects startups with industry players in the Indonesian market with the goal to help them understand the market and function as a “soft-landing pad” for their upcoming expansion.

“The three Malaysian startups have the best long-term vision to enter the Indonesian market,” said Yacademy CEO and Founder Arne von Looveren.

The programme begins in Malaysia with private coaching sessions and webinars on regulations and business trends in Indonesia.

Following the webinars, participating startups then headed down to Jakarta to meet with various players in local tech industry from startups (Lazada, Doku), industry association (Fintech Association of Indonesia), coworking space (Coworkinc), a number of venture capital firms, and the Ministry of Communications and Technology.

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The startups participating in the programme are Bantu.my, Mobiversa, and Recite Lab.

Bantu.my is a platform that helps connect freelancer to potential clients. In Indonesia, the startup is looking forward to visit Sribulancer, a platform that provides similar service.

“We have a competitor in Indonesia and it actually validated the market,” said Bantu.my co-founder Zharif Samani at the event today.

He also added that the advantage that Bantu.my can give to its potential users in Indonesia is their ability to connect Indonesian freelancers to clients in Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, and Singapore.

“[The expansion] has always been in our plan … though we are not looking to compete globally. We want to focus on the region,” said Samani.

As for Mobiversa, it is a mobile point-of-sales platform that provides mobile app and hardware to help merchants collect payments from VISA and MasterCard debit and credit cards.

Launched in February 2016, the startup is looking to enter Indonesia and the Philippines.

“We are already talking to potential partners to open business here,” said Mobiversa CEO S. Baskar.

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But of three startups, e27 sees that Recite Lab has the most unique offering.

The platform is a mobile app that allows Muslims to practice reading the Qur’an and consult their progress to a teacher online.

Users only have to recite a part of the holy scripture, have it recorded and submitted anonymously to the platform, and a teacher will respond with constructive criticism on how to improve their recital.

Operating on a freemium basis, the app also allows users to ask questions related to the religion to a teacher.

“Muslims learn to read the Qur’an from young age, but after a certain age they are struggling to reconnect. The problem here is not [the lack of] time [to re-learn], but embarrassment from having to sit in front of the ustadz and recite the texts,” explained Recite Lab COO Mazlita Mat Hasan.

Home to the world’s largest Muslim population, Indonesia is the perfect destination for the Kuala Lumpur-based startup.

As part of its expansion plan to the country, Recite Lab has begun the process of acquiring teachers to contribute in the platform.

To achieve that, the startup is currently in partnership talks with major Islamic organisations such as Nahdlatul Ulama and Daarul Qur’an.

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