Telstra Ventures signs Telkom Indonesia for startup investment in Asia

Telkom Indonesia and Telstra are expanding their partnership by signing an MOU for exploring startup investment prospects in South East Asia.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Telstra's venture capital arm Telstra Ventures has announced signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Telkom Indonesia's corporate venture arm PT Metra Digital Investama for the purposes of collaborating on startup investment opportunities in South East Asia.

Investing in startups and technology companies has created new revenue streams for the telecommunications provider, said Cynthia Whelan, group executive of International and New Businesses at Telstra -- particularly in the growing Asian region.

"Over the past five years, Telstra Ventures has invested over AU$200 million in more than 30 different technology companies, giving us access to new revenue streams and cutting-edge technology we can use in-house and provide to our customers," Whelan said.

"Our ventures investments are increasingly occurring in Asia, and we are very excited to be collaborating with Telkom to identify the best new emerging technology companies in the region."

Telstra Ventures particularly pointed towards startups in the e-commerce, e-health, Internet of Things, and fintech sectors.

The MOU will provide Telkom Indonesia with the ability to leverage Telstra's expertise and relationships with global startup hubs in Silicon Valley, Israel, and China, Telkom Indonesia group chief strategy officer Pak Indra Utoyo said. In return, Telkom will provide Telstra with experience in the Indonesian startup market.

"Over the last two years, Telkom and Telstra have established a good relationship, bringing network applications and services to businesses in Indonesia through our joint venture, telkomtelstra," Pak Indra said.

"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."

At the start of 2014, Telstra and Telkom Indonesia announced signing an MOU for a joint venture for network applications and services (NAS), allowing Telstra to enter the Southeast Asia market and take advantage of Telkom's customer base.

Telstra has since been making investments in the Asian region; last month, Telstra Ventures invested in Cloopen, a Chinese communications application programming interface (API) provider; in January, Telstra acquired Kloud, which provides professional and managed cloud services to enterprises for more than 80 corporate and government customers across the Asia-Pacific region; and at the same time, the telco invested in Chinese cloud services company Qiniu.

Telstra Ventures also made a multimillion-dollar investment in Taiwanese video big data and analytics company Gorilla Technology Group in March 2015, saying the company could provide beneficial video analytic software solutions for the government, security, broadcast, and retail sectors.

Most significantly, Telstra purchased Pacnet for $697 million in December 2014.

Telstra in May also announced that it would be increasing its Asian network assets by building a fibre overland route between Taiwan and Hong Kong, a fibre ring network in South Korea, and a submarine cable connecting its networks in Asia to India and the Middle East, as well as securing capacity on a new cable system connecting Asia with the United States.

The measures were announced as part of Telstra's ongoing investment in the 36,000km cable network system connecting China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, which the telco acquired as part of its Pacnet purchase.

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