The COVID-19 pandemic has been badly affecting most businesses, but the situation doesn’t necessarily prevent venture capitals from investing in startups—especially ones that can answer society’s growing needs in the current situation. In the past week we have even seen a number of double-digit investments made into Indonesia’s digital scene.
Likewise, Indonesian early-stage focused venture capital EverHaüs has recently invested in edtech company GoKampus and IoT-based renting platform ReCharge.
GoKampus helps streamlining the college application process in Indonesia, which is often challenged by plenty of complexities and lack of transparency. The app’s new ‘Instant Approval’ feature allows applicants to simply upload their transcript to apply to the university, and get acceptance news within an hour, hence cutting time and costs. GoKampus’ feature has especially come in handy amid COVID-19 pandemic and PSBB, since the digitalized process simplifies college applications. So far GoKampus is working with 150 universities, with more than 140,000 registered users.
Meanwhile, ReCharge adopts a sharing economy approach to daily needs, offering app-based power bank rental. Since its launch in 2018, ReCharge now has over 700 ReCharge stations spread in Jabodetabek, Bandung, and Yogyakarta, with more coming up.
Previously in December 2019, EverHaüs also made a seed investment into Newman’s, the first digital health provider for men, which aims to tackle men’s problems through consultations.
While the amount of deal cannot be disclosed, EverHaüs’ investment size ranges from $50-500,000. It is currently on portfolio management mode for the first fund, and so far it has made more than 20 investments into various sectors.
Founder and general partner of EverHaüs, Gitta Amelia, says that the company will continue to empower new generations of entrepreneurs from scratch. Therefore, EverHaüs has set up an evergreen fund to support the mission.
"We are working in conjunction with a global venture capital company as well as local investors to kick off this vehicle. It will be used to incubate new ideas and empower new entrepreneurs who are focused on making high impact businesses come to life,” Gitta states.
In the current situation, Gitta sees COVID-19 pandemic as an unprecedented occurrence that has caused a huge structural shift in behavior. There are more opportunities for digital platforms, with people shifting to online shopping and remote working, academic institutions adapting with online education platform, and heightened awareness of personal hygiene and wellbeing. Moreover, these new behaviors will remain even when the pandemic is over as people acclimate to a new normal.
"There are two ways we can find opportunities. The first is if we look at the medium term. If companies can capitalize on behavioral shifts by acting and scaling in breakneck time, they can win. Second is to take a long-term approach by looking into sectors that are long-term winners such as healthcare and education, and leading with a clear value proposition," explains Gitta.