DS/X Ventures founding partner Rama Mamuaya / Photo credit: Rama Mamuaya
For Rama Mamuaya, the CEO and founder of Indonesia-based tech media outlet DailySocial.id, it still makes total sense to launch DS/X Ventures even “as the startup world seems to crumble.”
“Valuations are down, but this doesn’t mean that these startups suck,” Mamuaya recently wrote in a Linkedin post. “They’re still the same group of amazing founders, tackling big problems in a massive market.”
Last December, Mamuaya launched DS/X Ventures, an investment firm targeting early-stage companies.
As a founder himself, Mamuaya clearly understands that the early-stage capital market is crowded, especially in Indonesia. Think East Ventures, a prolific investor with a strong emphasis on early-stage funding. Hailing from Indonesia, the firm has backed 300 companies from Southeast Asia over the past 14 years.
Still, DS/X Ventures has a selling point. It can leverage the network of DailySocial.id, which Mamuaya founded in 2008.
“We’ve managed to put ourselves in the middle of the ecosystem, so we have all the information, insights, data, and network to invest and add value to great companies,” Mamuaya tells Tech in Asia in a recent interview.
So far, DS/X Ventures has invested in eight B2B startups, which include supply chain management startup Baskit, construction material marketplace GoCement, fintech-as-a-service startup Finfra, and digital authentication provider Fazpass.
Mamuaya expects to raise US$15 million for the first fund by the end of 2023 and launch a second fund by mid-next year.
DS/X Ventures is searching for founders whose firms have a clear path to profitability. Being in the early stage doesn’t necessarily mean that these startups are far from turning a profit, especially if they have strong unit economics, Mamuaya says.
“With good effort, mentoring, and capital, these companies can be profitable in the next 12 to 18 months if they choose to,” he adds. “They have the option to be profitable or to pursue growth because their business fundamentals are strong. Most startups don’t have this option.”
To ensure impartial reporting on news related to DS/X Ventures’ portfolio firms, DailySocial.id maintains a separate and independent editorial team, Mamuaya emphasizes.
See also: Mapping public tech companies in Indonesia (updated)