Country Diagnostic Studies in Selected Developing Member Countries—Ecosystem for Tech Startups in Indonesia


Indonesia is home to a growing number of startups. According to Startup Ranking (2020), the number of startups in Indonesia increased from 1,400 in 2017 to 2,200 in 2019, placing Indonesia as the fifth country with the highest startup growth after the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Jakarta is included in the top 500 cities globally for startups, while Bandung, Surabaya, and Denpasar also show promise. Indonesia is the second-largest recipient of venture capital in Southeast Asia, after Singapore. Five prominent unicorns born in Indonesia include Gojek (ride-hailing and service supplying startup), Tokopedia and Bukalapak (online marketplace), Ovo (digital payment), and Traveloka (travel booking company).

Issues such as internet connection, particularly in the rural areas, was identified as the main obstacle to include agricultural community in the ecosystem (Bachtiar et al., 2020). However, hopes are high with the presence of Palapa Ring connecting in all districts. This backbone infrastructure is expected to improve access to internet with relatively affordable price. In addition, government is also committed to provide three more satellites to reach small islands as well as additional 4,000 Base Transmission  Stations in underdeveloped villages. The strategic planning of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in 2015–2019 was to focus on infrastructure, while in 2020–2024 moves towards digital talent and developing startups (Bachtiar et al., forthcoming).

Above all, the Government of Indonesia has laid a solid foundation for digital transformation in its 2020–2024 National Medium-Term Development Plan. In this context, the study on tech startups becomes very relevant and timely. It is important for all key actors to comprehend the enabling environment that supports the tech startup ecosystem.

This study aims at understanding the vital elements of an enabling ecosystem and the needs of startups in Indonesia, especially in cleantech, agritech, edtech, and healthtech. These startups are outside of the main startup sectors of e-commerce and fintech. In particular, the study will provide answers to three broad research questions:
  1. What is the support ecosystem for startups in cleantech, agritech, edtech, and healthtech?
  2. What are the factors that have helped and constrained startup  development?
  3. What are the policy recommendations to improve support for startups?

This study comprises three components: (1) mapping and analysing the startup ecosystem; (2) identifying factors that support and constraint the startup development; and (3) developing recommendation on how to improve startup ecosystem. Methods of data collection include in-depth interview and focused group discussion (FGD) with informants who are key actors in the startup ecosystem. Component 1 and 2 employ the in-depth interviews, while Component 3 uses FGD. The informants will be identified using the snowball sampling approach. We use information received from the previous subcomponent/component by triangulating and analyzing it to determine informants for the following subcomponent/componen


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Athia Yumna
Rendy Adriyan Diningrat
Palmira Permata Bachtiar
Team Member 
Ahmad Zuhdi Dwi Kusuma
Akhmad Ramadhan Fatah
Adinda Angelica
Hening Wikan Sawiji
Completion Year 
Project Donor 
Asian Development Bank
Type of Service