Nararya Ciputra Sastrawinata

Nararya Ciputra Sastrawinata takes his own path while upholding the family business.

Nararya Ciputra Sastrawinata, the grandson of property tycoon Ciputra, wanted to expand his expertise outside of the property business. So, while working as an associate director at PT Ciputra Development, he started Indogen, a venture capital firm, with four of his friends, late last year. “In a listed company, you have a responsibility to shareholders, while venture capital is a high-risk business. That’s why I decided to do something outside the family business,” says Nararya, 31, adding he did so with blessings from his family.

Indogen has already invested in a variety of startups, including three in Indonesia and one in Singapore: Muslim fashion e-commerce site Hijup, owned by Diajeng Lestari, wife of Bukalapak Achmad Zaky; online laundry service provider Ahlijasa, e-payment provider Aino, and finally Clearbridge Health (previously named InSight Medica), a Singaporean health startup. The funding for the four ranges from $300,000 to $500,000, with funds coming from the founders themselves. “We are looking to fund a startup at a bridging level, but at least the post-seed level,” says Nararya.

The other founders are equally qualified. Chandra Firmanto is the chief executive of PT Aneka Makmur Sejahtera, a company with several joint ventures with the Ciputra group. He met Nararya through the CitraGarden Aneka project in Pontianak (he is the landowner of the property); Hendry Willy founded and manages several companies, including marketplaces and; Teezar Firmansyah, not a newcomer in venture capital business, has led fundraising for Antara Capital Partners and he works at Singaporean Credence Private Equity as the head of Indonesia; and Leonitus Alpha Edison is the chief operations officer and director at Tokopedia.

Nararya says that their most important investment consideration is a personal chemistry with the startup founder. “We are more than a financial investor. We want to provide mentoring for our investee, so we need coach-able people, who are willing to listen to our input,” Nararya says.

To be sustainable, Indogen has to make money. Nararya claims that on paper Indogen already has made a profit, and the month-to-month investment performances are positive, but he declines to share any specific numbers. Now that it has some track record, Indogen Capital is raising its first professional fund this year. The team is now preparing the paperwork, and will do the fundraising before the end of the year. As for startups, they have several future investees in the pipeline including Taiwanese video firm ReCactus and Singapore-based electronic key system app Igloohome. Nararya admits that his company’s targets are not only local but also regional players, especially companies that would like to enter the Indonesian market.

Published on Forbes Indonesia Next Gen issue. Read full version of the article here.