Nicko Widjaja

BRI Ventures’ Nicko Widjaja would experience his first failure before his storied rise as one of the tech industry’s wonder boys

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Nicko Widjaja couldn’t have found a better incubator than Silicon Valley, where he lived around the time of the the dotcom bust, and the subsequent emergence of future behemoths like Facebook and Gmail. Coming from that experience, the young entrepreneur swaggered into Indonesia’s start-up ecosystem in 2010, armed with a US$10 million fund under Systec Ventures.

While he hoped for a decent debut, Widjaja’s first venture turned out to be a flop. But that didn’t deter him from pursuing his dream. In 2015, he made a comeback with MDI Ventures, and a massive US$100 million coffer. A remarkable back-to-back feat followed: two exits just three years into operation, and a record-breaking five in 2019, making MDI one of the most profitable venture-capital firms in Indonesia.

Since 2019, Widjaja has been CEO of state-owned BRI Ventures, where he controls US$250 million, his biggest fund so far.

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