SVARA, an Indonesia-based radio broadcasting and digital audio platform startup, recently announced that it had successfully raised an undisclosed sum from UMG Idealab, a Myanmar-headquartered tech startup incubator, for its pre-series A funding round. The newly-acquired funds will enable the radio broadcasting platform startup to further expand its business and develop new solutions and products to better serve its customers and clients. According to Farid Fadhil Habibi, chief executive officer and co-founder of SVARA, the startup aspires to become a major influencer in Indonesia by redefining its music industry and reviving its radio industry in a new era marked by dramatic shifts and disruptions caused by emerging tech.
Founded by Farid Fadhil Habibi and Hemat Dwi Nuryanto in 2017 with the idea of innovating and transitioning the country’s radio and music industries into a digital age, the new investment from UMG Idealab will be used to further fortify the startup’s leading position in the market as it seeks to fulfill its vision of becoming a unicorn by 2023. Towards this end, the startup will use the freshly acquired funds to accomplish its goals in 4 key areas: the establishment of strategic partnerships with key industry players for accelerating digital transformation in the radio industry; raising awareness of the radio and music industries in regards to the concept of digital transformation; the building and development of new products and solutions; and increasing the quality and standard of its human resources by fortifying its marketing and development teams.
SVARA has thus far collaborated with more than 80 national private radios and received support and backing from governmental agencies such as BEKRAF (creative economy agency) as it strives to digitize Indonesia’s radio and broadcasting industry. One of the startup’s major milestones is its collaboration with PRSSNI (Indonesian National Private Broadcasting Radio Association), which counts more than 650 broadcast radio members, in which SVARAS provided all of the association’s members with its SVARA On-Air platform, a radio automation or software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that assists the radio industry in enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of its end-to-end radio processes. The collaboration was a joint effort by both parties to prepare its broadcast radio members for undergoing radio digital transformation as the industry heads towards a new technological era.
UMG Idealab’s investment in SVARA is part of a wider drive by the startup incubator to accelerate the growth of promising tech startups across the region of Southeast Asia with a special focus on Indonesia. The venture builder, which was established by Kiwi Aliwarga, is actively engaged in the country’s startup ecosystem and has already invested in approximately 30 local startups to date. Some of the Indonesian startups that UMG Idealab has worked with include Frogs, a startup specializing in drone technology; Legalku, a legal tech startup; Lectro, a startup that produces renewable energy sources including batteries; and Prosehat, a healthcare startup that won the Seedstars World Jakarta chapter in 2016.
With the support and funding provided by UMG Idealab, the Bandung-based digital audio platform startup SVARAS will seek to reinvigorate Indonesia’s radio and music industries as both head into a new digital era that is characterised by disruptions caused by emerging tech. Given enough resources and ample opportunities, the dedicated and committed startup may eventually fulfill its vision of achieving unicorn status in 2023.