Eddi Danusaputro, Mandiri Capital Indonesia – Revolutionizing FinTech

Unveiling Greatness, Mr. Eddi Danusaputro is a visionary investor backing innovative entrepreneurs who revolutionize FinTech and are committed to the growth of financial institutions in the Southeast Asian region.

Mr. Eddi Danusaputro is the president and director of Mandiri Capital Indonesia. MCI is a venture capital funding institute which is operated by Bank Mandiri, Indonesia’s largest financial institution. With technology impacting and revolutionizing every sector, Finance is the backbone of the modern economy and cannot be left behind. MCI connects entrepreneurs and like-minded investors to fuel the promising FinTech sector in Southeast Asia.

Mr. Danusaputro is also the co-founder and Managing Director of Makara Capital. He provides leadership and direction and is responsible for Finance, Risk Management, and Operations. Makara Capital focuses on client-centric as well as independent financial advisory, private equity, and investment management.

He also worked for Morgan Stanley and specialized in both private wealth management as well as International Private Client Group. Mr. Eddi Danusaputro has held positions of high responsibility with AXA Indonesia where he served as the head of planning and strategy. He also worked with Proctor and Gamble for four years and was an external consultant with Bank Negara Indonesia for wealth management and consumer banking.

Mr. Eddi also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Duke University (Fuqua School of Business). He is also an honorary member of the risk committee of the Asian Development Fund.

Read on and know more about Mr. Eddi Danusaputro, the startups he would want to back, and lots more.

What background and domain expertise do you have? And what makes you an investor?

Eddi Danusaputro: I have worked in the financial investment sector for more than ten years before joining Mandiri Capital whereby most of my experience was in fund management including mutual funds, hedge funds, and private equity funds. I have always enjoyed the challenge of finding investments, growing these investments then divesting at a healthy rate of return.

As an investor, what kind of startups have you invested in? And how did you find those startups to invest in?

Eddi Danusaputro: Our current mandate is FinTech (financial technology) in SE Asia. Our pipeline is obtained through various efforts including holding pitching competitions, running an incubator program and actively forming partnerships with universities. Of course, collaboration with other investors is also a proven method of ensuring good deal flow.

What would be the core factors that would make you decide not to invest in certain companies?

Eddi Danusaputro: First, even if the company may be promising, but if the founders/management team is not competent or passionate then we will not invest. Second, the company should be trying to solve a problem/address an opportunity and the market is sufficiently large so that it can be scaled up. Lastly, there has to be a clear path towards profitability, even if that takes time.

What would be the KPI you usually check about the startups’ growth? It may be diverse in industries like LTV, CAC, MoM, etc., but would be helpful to understand more about your additional investment factors.

Eddi Danusaputro: for P2P Lending platforms, we look at loans disbursed, NPL, number of lenders, number of borrowers and repeat transactions. For payments companies, we look at the number of users and gross transaction value. For SaaS companies, we look at the number of paying subscribers, churn, CAC, LTV, and other metrics.

What is the investment range and in a typical year, how many startups do you invest in? And can S. Korea headquartered startups get investment from you or should they be headquartered in certain countries?

Eddi Danusaputro: We prefer to invest at Series A stage even though we have invested in Pre-Series A and also Series B stages. We would normally aim to initially obtain a 10% stake. In a typical year, we invest in 2-3 startups. We would look at S. Korea headquartered startups, but those startups need to have presence/business in SE Asia also.

Can you list one company you have passed (rejected) investment before but think you should have invested in that company. If there is any, why do you think you missed that investment opportunity?

Eddi Danusaputro: We were close to investing in Taralite, a P2P Lending platform focusing on e-commerce merchants but wanted to see more traction before investing. Not so long afterward, the company was bought out by an e-commerce platform. Sometimes, one has to move more quickly as changes happen rapidly in our industry.

What are the main factors that startups fail as per your experience after getting investment and how can they prevent mistakes in advance from your personal perspective?

Eddi Danusaputro: Some common themes: not properly defining the target market, trying to do too much, disharmony among management/founders, wrong business model (in regard to how to obtain revenues and profits), not aggressive enough in marketing.

What’s your advice to entrepreneurs who meet investors like you? And what are the top 3 questions you always ask founders?

Eddi Danusaputro: We always ask what problem(s) are you trying to solve, is the market big enough and what differentiates you versus your peers/competitors.

What’s your general thought about the term “Global” and what are the important factors (criteria) for Korean startups to consider for international expansion?

Eddi Danusaputro: Global means having the skills and resources to compete in each geographic market. The key for Korean startups interested in the expansion is to understand the local market but bring also Korean expertise. Agility and speed are key to proper execution.

Our company name is “beSUCCESS”, what’s your definition of the term “success” as an investor or as an individual human being?

Eddi Danusaputro: Success means setting ambitious goals and trying your best to achieve these goals. It’s about not giving up, constantly persevering and thinking the long game as opposed to the short gains. Above all else, achieve these goals with integrity.

What are the one or two things you would do differently if you could go back to 10 years ago?

Eddi Danusaputro: Be more aggressive in investing haha… if someone has done his/her homework on an investment (professional or personal) then be brave to invest more than the average size. In the long run, sound fundamentals will ensure above average returns. A person may regret a bad decision but that is still better than making no decision at all, as at least we can learn from our bad decisions.

When you come to Korea next time, what kind of Korean entrepreneurs and startups you want to meet?

Eddi Danusaputro: I would like to meet companies that are different than the normal companies in SE Asia; in terms of technology and also market approach. We want to learn from other countries such as S. Korea. Most of the time, startups in SE Asia (especially Indonesia) focus on the mid to low-end of the consumer demographic because that is where the demographic mass market is. That’s why you see many payments and consumer loans startups, but we have limited startups focusing on (for example): Robo advisory, stock picking, InsureTech, data analytics, etc.

You can follow Mr. Eddi Danusaputro here.

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