Indonesian Fintech Ayoconnect Appoints Ilham Akbar Habibie as Strategic Advisor
Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Mr. Ilham Akbar Habibie, the son of former Indonesian President B. J. Habibie, brings a wealth of experience to Ayoconnect, enabling it to broaden partnerships in the public, private and financial sectors.
Ayoconnect is building the first and largest Open Bill Network in Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest country by population size.
It does this by bringing the entire Indonesian biller ecosystem into one centralised network, accessible by utilities, telcos and other bill providers, along with consumer-facing platforms and financial institutions.
Ayoconnect recently raised US$ 5 million in Pre-Series B financing from a host of investors including Bank BRI’s BRI Ventures and Tokyo Exchange-listed internet company Kakaku.com, Inc.
JAKARTA, 16 September 2020 - Ayoconnect, the first and largest Open Bill Network in Indonesia, has officially announced and welcomed Ilham Akbar Habibie as their Strategic Advisor. Mr. Habibie brings a wealth of insights in both the financial services and technology sectors within the Indonesian market. His appointment opens up opportunities for Ayoconnect around business collaborations, including strategic inroads to technology investors, public sector bodies and financial institutions, effectively positioning the company for accelerated growth.
Mr. Habibie is a veteran equity investor for over 25 years. He is actively involved in various organizations that focus on research and technology in Indonesia, including the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) and the National Information and Communication Technology Council (WANTIKNAS).
“Mr. Habibie is prominent for his contributions in advancing Indonesia’s education, economy, and information technology, which have made him a national figure of innovation. We are truly pleased to welcome him to Ayoconnect. ” said Chiragh Kirpalani, Co-Founder and COO of Ayoconnect.
Kirpalani further added that Habibie is a forward-thinking individual, driving changes by actively collaborating with people and organizations of diverse backgrounds. “We are humbled to have the privilege of him being our strategic advisor as we aim to accelerate financial inclusion in Indonesia by building relationships with state-owned enterprises (BUMN) and financial institutions, as well as collaborating with a wider community of entrepreneurs, change makers, and talented individuals.”
From left to right: Ayoconnect's CEO Jakob Rost, Strategic Advisor Ilham Habibie, and COO Chiragh Kirpalani during a discussion in Ilham Habibie's estate in Jakarta
From left to right: Ayoconnect's COO Chiragh Kirpalani and Strategic Advisor Ilham Habibie during a discussion in Ilham Habibie's estate in Jakarta
Both Habibie and Ayoconnect shared the same vision that Indonesian MSMEs and manufacturing startups need to be more competitive and agile to be able to navigate through the new wave of digitalization.
“I am thrilled to be a part of a passionate team that is committed to bring innovations and real impact to the Indonesian digital economy. I see Ayoconnect’s great vision in providing innovative technology solutions for established companies and emerging businesses, consecutively taking a key role in advancing financial inclusion in Indonesia. I believe that the presence of Ayoconnect’s Open Bill Network is a breakthrough in the bill payment industry.” said Ilham Akbar Habibie, Advisor of Ayoconnect.
Habibie is the eldest son of the late Indonesian President B.J. Habibie. As an entrepreneur and technical expert, he has previously been involved in various companies and organizations, many of which have a focus on technology. Apart from his advisory work in Ayoconnect, among others he currently serves as President Director of PT ILTHABI Rekatama, a private investment company, and is also the Chairman of the oldest sharia-based bank in Indonesia, PT Bank Muamalat Indonesia tbk.
Habibie’s appointment as Advisor follows Ayoconnect’s recent growth and Pre-Series B funding of US$5 million from strategic global investors. The funds will be used to continue building Indonesia’s largest and most advanced bill network. As a B2B fintech company, Ayoconnect is building billing technologies for Bill Providers, connected to both online and offline Channel Partners (including Indomaret, PT Pos Indonesia, as well as financial institutions) so that end-consumers can pay their bills more seamlessly within Ayoconnect’s network.
The company has raised over US$10 million to date. Its Pre-Series B investors include BRI Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Bank BRI; Tokyo Exchange (TYO) listed internet company Kakaku.com, Inc. and Brama One Ventures. Existing investors including global fintech specialist Finch Capital and Amand Ventures also participated in the round. Other existing investors in Ayoconnect include Strive and AC Ventures.