PT Mandiri Capital Indonesia (MCI), a subsidiary of Bank Mandiri, is looking to expand its investment portfolio in start-ups as part of its long-term strategy to tap into the rapid growth of the country’s digital business sector, the company’s top executive has said.MCI president director Eddi Danusaputro said the company would provide an initial investment of up to US$5 million for creative and innovative start-ups, particularly those engaged in payments so they could cooperate with its parent company Bank Mandiri.MCI would give out between $2 million to $5 million to acquire at least 10 percent of the startup’s shares, Eddi explained. “We have run this business for four years and have invested in 13 startups,” he said at the Mandiri Investasi Market Outlook event in Jakarta on March 5. He previously said the company planned to invest in three start-ups this year.Since 2016, MCI has invested Rp 1 trillion (US$70 million) in 13 startups, including Amartha, a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform focusing on micro-enterprises owned by women, Investree, which focuses on small and medium enterprises, and Crowde, a P2P platform focused on farmers.Thirteen startups in four years is a relatively modest number compared to other venture capital companies’ portfolios.Convergence Ventures, for example, another Indonesian-based venture capital company with a similar interest in primarily investing in early-stage funding, has invested in 10 startups in the past two years, according to its website. “Investing in startups, according to our experiences, is risky,” Eddi said, noting that the investments were somewhat risky because as an equity injection, the company would lose all the money if the companies it invested in failed.According to research by Shikhar Ghosh, a professor at the Harvard Business School, about 90 to 95 percent of startups fail, with failure being defined as failing short of meeting a declared projection.As a risk management strategy, MCI looks at several parameters when deciding whether to invest, such as whether the start-ups are involved in providing solutions and have reliable founding teams.The founding team of a startup is also an important factor in decision making Eddi said, adding that MCI “will never invest in a start-up with a single founder, it’s too risky”. Ideally, the team should consist of around three to four people, with a “hipster, hacker and hustler” all present.The formula suggests that a good founding team consists of a creative, a tech engineer and a businessperson.In addition, the venture capital company also looks at whether the startup has the appropriate business model to achieve sustainability and whether the projected valuation can lead to profitability. (ydp) Topics :
…gold declarations plummetBy Samuel SukhnandanThe Government of Guyana could be forced to revise the country’s growth rate downwards as a result of the fall in gold declarations for the year 2017 and the sector’s overall sluggish performance.This is according to Finance Minister Winston Jordan who advised that Guyana recorded some 653,754 ounces of gold in 2017, which indicates that gold declarations fell short of the projected of 720,000 ounces.Finance Minister Winston Jordan“It will have an impact on the growth with both sugar and gold not coming in on target. It means we will have to revise last year’s growth rate even further and it will put some strain on the growth for 2018,” he stated.Sugar output in Guyana fell by nearly a quarter from last year, with close to 140,000 metric tonnes being produced in 2017, which is the lowest in 27 years. The decline happened at a time when the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is preparing to permanently close three of its six estates and fire about 4673 of its 15,000-member workforce. Other workers numbering close to 1000 could also be laid off this year as the Government embarks on its downsizing initiative.Jordan said the economy was expected to grow by 2.9 per cent, failing to meet the revised growth projection of 3.1 per cent for 2017. The initial projected growth of the economy was 3.8 per cent, but this was revised by midyear to 3.1 per cent after the economy only grew by 2.2 per cent in July of 2017.Making reference to gold, the Minister said however there were several impediments that led to a fall in gold declaration, stating that accessibility for miners was one of the major factors. Nevertheless, Jordan said he is confident that the country’s gold production would climb again this year due to good prices and improved access.“…we have budgeted over $1.5 billion, part of which is for clear access both to forest and mining areas. Prices are still good. So it’s not a case they don’t have a natural incentive to produce more as such. So, first of all we believe it’s going to be better this year. We are hoping it’s just an aberration because with prices where they are, you ought to be seeing far more declaration that we are seeing right now,” he added.With improved access to new gold bearing areas in the interior regions; this will also help with meeting this objective, Jordan said. “… so perhaps we need work to be done about new gold bearing areas. Because I don’t really know if they have a map as to how really and truly are the gold bearing areas…like for example with oil. So, here especially with artesian mining it could be a hit and miss story.”The Guyana Gold Board (GGB) has blamed poor roads and inclement weather for the fall in gold declaration. According to General Manager of the GGB, Eondrene Thompson, there were several inhibitions that led to this performance, but she made a commitment to addressing it.“The roadways into the interior… were bad and as such persons were unable to buy their supplies to take into the interior,” Thompson told the Department of Public Information. Additionally, several operators parked their dredges and were waiting on the roads to be fixed.The GCB plans to launch a campaign to improve declarations. Thompson said, “We will embark on PR work, let the miners know the importance of selling their gold to the Guyana Gold Board.” This campaign is not only to get miners to sell to the GGB but to have them use licensed agents.“We have persons around who they sell to or who they are working for and still not declaring to the Guyana Gold Board so we intend to educate the miners and let them know it is good, it is right to sell to the Guyana Gold Board.” The GGB is also considering providing incentives to miners who sell to them.Thompson explained, “Our regulatory overseas body would like to know that. They would want to monitor the gold from the mine to the market so we will have persons educating the miners and showing them the advantages of producing documentation where they mine”.Government hopes that 712,706 ounces of gold will be declared in 2018.