Baidu Indonesia and Jakarta-based early stage fund Convergence Ventures has just announced a strategic partnership. This is good news for Convergence’s portfolio companies, and the Indonesian ecosystem overall.
According to a release, the partnership is a part of the Chinese Internet giant’s ‘Grow Local Go Global’ (GLGG) programme which, among other initiatives, will pave a clear path for homegrown digital products to enter the Chinese market.
Through the partnership, Baidu is banking on Convergence’s Indonesian tech ecosystem know-how and eye for investable startups to further their move into Indonesia.
“Convergence Ventures has good experience and deep insights into the startup ecosystem in Indonesia. They have the same focus with Baidu in the O2O business area, and have been quite successful in funding high potential local startups,” said Bao Jianlei, Director of Baidu Indonesia, in a release.
Led by entrepreneurs Adrian Li and Donald Wihardja, Convergence Ventures’ advisory board and limited partners are not just in Indonesia but also from the US and China. The one-year-old venture capital firm has already built a strong local network, one Baidu wants to tap ito.
“In the past year, Convergence Ventures has seen over 1,200 ventures so we are very well-connected to entrepreneurs in the Internet and mobile startup community. We plan to work with Baidu Indonesia to launch grassroots meetups and events to share learnings and expertise to entrepreneurs. We’re also considering working together to provide a coworking space for early stage startups,” Adrian Li, Founder and Managing Partner of Convergence Ventures, told e27.
Since launching in late 2014 with US$25 million raised to back Indonesian startups, Convergence has already invested in eight companies. Among its portfolio companies are Qraved, Yesboss and Adskom and they can look forward to resources from Baidu running the gamut of technical expertise and direct investment.
“Through this strategic partnership Baidu Indonesia is committing specific resources through investment, technical support and mentoring and marketing distribution to help Convergence Ventures’ portfolio,” said Li and also revealed to e27 that Baidu will be reviewing select companies on Convergence’s portfolio on a yearly basis for follow-on investment.
After opening a Jakarta office in 2013, Baidu’s Indonesia’s mobile-focused products include the Android marketplace Mobomarket, which has been growing steadily in the archipelago. According to a Q2 2015 report from Baidu, MoboMarket has over 4 million monthly active users in Indonesia, up from 2.9 million in Q4 2015. Their other launched products include mobile apps DU Battery Saver, DU Speed Booster and the Baidu mobile browser.
Last year, Baidu has also inked a deal with Lazada Indonesia in exchange for a ‘Baidu Special’ page which displays deals only accessible by Indonesian users of Baidu Browser.
Disclaimer: Convergence Ventures is an investor in Optimatic, the parent company of e27.