Posted inBusiness moves

Indonesian robo-advisor raises new cash

Bibit has received a second round of funding led by Sequoia Capital India.
JAKARTA - Indonesia. October 11, 2019: Beautiful aerial view of National Monument at afternoon time with Jakarta cityscape in the background

The Indian venture capitalist was joined by new investors Tencent, Prosus Venture and Harvard’s endowment fund to inject a further $65m into Bibit, the investment platform announced this week.

The firm intends to develop and launch new products, expand its team, and invest in financial education and awareness among young people, according to Bibit’s CEO Sigit Kouwagam, in a statement on Monday.

Bibit was launched in 2019 by Stockbit, a stock investing platform and community, and is one of several Indonesian investment apps targeting new investors. Others include SoftBank Ventures-backed Ajaib, Bareksa, Pluang and FUNDtastic.

Bibit operates a robo-advisor services app for mutual funds, investing users’ money based on their risk profiles and return objectives, and estimates that that 90% of its one million users are millennials and first-time investors.

The firm is also Gojek’s investment partner, which directs users to the Bibit app, where they can make payments with GoPay.

The number of mutual fund investors in Indonesia grew 78% year-on-year in 2020 to 3.2 million, according to the Indonesian Stock Exchange. In the first quarter of this year, a further one million new mutual fund investors entered the market.

Digital potential

Indonesia has been the most successful in terms of digital outreach, with fund houses — including foreign players — employing digital platforms to penetrate outskirt areas where their brands are less widely known, according to a recent report by consultants Cerulli.

Yet, despite the growth of online channels, banks still account for more than half of mutual fund assets under management distributed in Indonesia, Cerulli research found.

Moreover, the percentage of retail investors in Indonesia is still low, compared with Singapore and Malaysia, for example.

Fewer than 2% of Indonesians invests in stocks and mutual funds, according to the Indonesian stock exchange, which provides investment platforms with an opportunity.

Apps such as Bibit focus on content that helps make capital investing less intimidating to first-time investors, and tempts them with lower fees and minimum investment amounts than traditional brokerages.

Other investment apps, such as Ajaib and Pluang, have already attracted funds from venture capital firms this year.

Trading app Ajaib raised $90m from backers including US leader Robinhood, and Pluang, a digital-gold savings app, attracted $20m in its pre-Series B round.

Bibit’s latest funding follows a series A round in January, which attracted $30m from Sequoia Capital India, East Ventures, EV Growth, AC Ventures, and 500 Startups.

“We believe that all Indonesians deserve a better future. Enabling people to invest helps achieve that,” said Kouwagam.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.