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Bukalapak co-founder appointed as chairman of Telkom Indonesia's venture arm

Bukalapak co-founder appointed as chairman of Telkom Indonesia's venture arm

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2 -min read
Listen to this article

THE co-founder of Indonesian e-commerce unicorn Bukalapak, Fajrin Rasyid, has been appointed as chairman of Telkom Indonesia's corporate venture capital arm MDI Ventures.

Mr Rasyid will work closely with MDI Ventures' newly-minted chief executive Donald Wihardja and chief operating officer Sandhy Widyasthana. He will also advise Kenneth Li, the managing partner of Centauri Fund, a US$150 million investment vehicle backed by MDI Ventures and Korean financial institution KB Financial Group.

Mr Rasyid stepped down from his role as president at Bukalapak in June to become director of Telkom's digital business, a position he still holds. But his departure left Bukalapak without anyone from its founding team.

Bukalapak was founded in 2011 and became one of Indonesia's biggest online marketplaces. The company is backed by investors including GIC, Ant Financial and Emtek. In 2019, it was valued at over US$2.5 billion.

Co-founder Achmad Zaky stepped down as CEO in January and became an adviser to the company. His fellow founder Nugroho Herucahyono stepped down as chief technical officer in March. The pair are now founding partners at early-stage venture capital fund Init 6.

Mr Rasyid said he plans to help boost Telkom's digital revenue, as the group is projecting a significant increase in the years to come.

"Up until this point, only around 10 per cent of the company’s revenue has come from digital businesses. With the help of MDI Ventures as one of the nation’s savviest and most aggressive startup investors, I'm on a mission to build real synergy and make that revenue percentage soar," he said.

MDI Ventures has seen a number of startup exits. They include Melbourne-based Whispir's initial public offering on the Australian Securities Exchange, Naspers' acquisition of Red Dot Payment at a valuation of US$65 million, and the acquisition of Singapore-based cloud communications platform Wavecell in a deal worth about US$125 million.

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