Interview by ZDNet “Indonesian tech startups pique investors”

Executive Director of Azione Capital, Mr. Dennis Phua, was interviewed by ZDNet on his views on investors’ views toward Indonesian Tech startups.

“Azione Capital, on the other hand, considered eight Indonesian startups but eventually made no investments as the companies lacked “groundbreaking innovation”, said Dennis Phua, an executive director at the company.

The world’s fourth most populous nation, Indonesia has a sizeable domestic market and one that is “willing to try new mobile applications”, he explained in an e-mail, adding that this paves the way for “very ordinary ideas to do massively well”.

According to Phua, startups that develop for mobile platforms including Symbian and Blackberry, are predominant, particularly in Jakarta and Surabaya.

In addition, consumers in Indonesia are “sufficiently sophisticated” and experimenting costs are low, he said.

However, startups in the country are relatively inexperienced and are not actively looking for professional investments, he revealed, adding that online startups in general imitate successful U.S. startups without any localization.

“The Web-driven startups are a knee-jerk reaction to the influence of successful Silicon Valley startups. However, as they simply copy the models, they do not customize their products for Indonesian consumers and do not have good takeup,” he said.

Acknowledging this, East Ventures’ Cuaca said: “The majority of Indonesian startups build ‘me too’ products, but some of them have fresh and innovative products. We are okay with that and still invest in them.

“We think that will evolve as the startup community gets matured,” he said.”

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