The republic’s young, 264 million-strong population and burgeoning internet economy make it a behemoth in the region. Yet, it is hampered by a highly complex regulatory landscape and a massive, fragmented domestic market. In the third of our series on Southeast Asia, we take a look at Indonesia’s challenges and opportunities.

SINGAPORE (Oct 14): Indonesia now has five unicorns, the moniker given to start-ups valued at more than US$1 billion ($1.4 billion). OVO, the digital payments service unit under Lippo Group, has joined the ranks of Gojek, Tokopedia, Traveloka and Bukalapak, apparently fulfilling a government target, according to Indonesia’s Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara, who disclosed it on national media Antara on Oct 5.

Indeed, Indonesia is set to account for the bulk of the total internet economy of Southeast Asia, according to a recent report titled “e-Conomy Southeast Asia 2019” by Google, Temasek and Bain & Co. The report’s authors estimated that the Indonesian internet economy will reach a whopping US$130 billion in gross merchandise value by 2025, with an average growth rate of 49% since 2015. That is more than one-third of the estimated US$300 billion GMV of the internet economy in Southeast Asia, making Indonesia a giant in its own right within the region. Certainly, investment money is pouring in — the same report showed that funding into the economy in Indonesia stood at US$1.8 billion invested in 1H2019 alone.

To continue reading,

Sign in to access this Premium article.

Subscription entitlements:

Less than $9 per month
3 Simultaneous logins across all devices
Unlimited access to latest and premium articles
Bonus unlimited access to online articles and virtual newspaper on The Edge Malaysia (single login)

Stay updated with Singapore corporate news stories for FREE

Follow our Telegram | Facebook