Riding Indonesia’s mega digital opportunity wave

With Soon Sze Meng, President, South East Asia, JD.com

Sachin Bhanot, Head of Southeast Asia Investments, Prosus Ventures

Aaron Tan, Founder, Group CEO, Carro

Indonesia too mirrored the growth trends in the digital economy space riding on macro drivers, favourable demographics and the pandemic-induced restrictions bringing millions of users online for the first time. Looking at 2025, the overall digital economy will likely reach $124 billion in value, re-accelerating to ~23% CAGR, per the Google-Bain-Temasek report on the internet economy. The e-commerce segment especially has driven significant growth in Indonesia at 54%. The overall 2020 GMV is estimated to have reached a total value of $44 billion in 2020, having grown at 11% YoY.  

Our panelists, who are well-entrenched to capture opportunities in SE Asia’s maximum market, will further deep-dive into the pandemic-driven digital adoption trends across an array of sectors and how that is changing the landscape for tech investments in the archipelago.

In this discussion, we feature Soon Sze Meng, president (SE Asia), JD.com, China’s largest retailer that is deepening its presence in the region. Sze Meng is responsible for the Chinese tech major’s businesses and investments in South East Asia. He also serves as a member on the boards of Indonesian decacorn Gojek, JD.com’s local unit JD.ID, JD’s Thai venture, JD Central and Vietnamese e-commerce Tiki. Sze Meng joined JD.com from Singtel and has served stints at PayPal and Visa. 

Our second panelist is Aaron Tan, founder of Singapore-based Carro, which recently completed a $360-million Series C round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, making it the first automotive marketplace unicorn in SE Asia. Carro is looking to use the funds to fortify its position and expand its retail offering across Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, markets that contributed to significant growth in the past year. Aaron Tan, who helped start Singtel’s venture fund – Singtel Innov8 ventures, left the fund in 2016 and founded Carro, which was named the fastest growing company in Asia Pacific in 2021 with revenues of over $300 million annually.

Our third panelist Sachin Bhanot is the Head of Southeast Asia Investments at Prosus Ventures, where he covers a range of sectors including consumer enablement, B2B commerce, fintech, logistics and more. Prosus’s Indonesia portfolio includes logistics startup Shipper, investment firm Bibit; and fishery platform Aruna. Prior to joining Prosus, Bhanot was a member of the investment team at B Capital Group, where he focused on venture investments in Southeast Asia. Before B Capital, he was part of The Abraaj Group’s PE team in Southeast Asia and MENA region. 

Join this session for a comprehensive coverage of Indonesia’s digital opportunity.