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Myanmar agri firm UMG’s venture arm invests in two Indonesian startups

UMG Idealab Indonesia, the venture capital arm of Myanmar agriculture giant UMG, has made seed stage investments into two Indonesian startups.

In an interaction with DEALSTREETASIA, the firm said it closed a deal in October with Botika, a startup that develops chatbot with natural language processing, and followed it up with an investment in AI company Bahasakita in November.

While the VC did not disclose the size of the investments, it said its general ticket size ranges from $50,000 to $1,000,000.

The investment in the two companies follows its earlier investment in Crowde, an agriculture-focused P2P lending platform whose recent seed round was led by GREE Ventures and and joined by Crevisse Partners as well as prominent local angels.

UMG has been investing in Indonesian tech companies since 2016, initially through its local subsidiary UMG Indonesia. However, in 2017, it decided to set up a CVC in Indonesia to capitalise on the large opportunities in the digital space in the country.

So far, UMG Idealab Indonesia has invested in 11 companies in the country, and says it is currently in the process of closing another deal with a data provider startup.

The firm describes its investment mandate as sector agnostic but says that it has particular interest in agrotechnology, the sector of UMG Group’s main business.

The group is recognised as the manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, as well as businesses in other related industries such as construction and consumer goods.

Apart from financial support and coaching, the firm says UMG’s regional network allows its portfolio companies the opportunity to expand to other Asian countries. As far as Southeast is concerned, UMG claims to have eight offices in seven countries.

Going forward, UMG Idealab says it will look to invest in around 20 startups in the coming year, to add to its list of Indonesian portfolios.