Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin created a buzz when he showed up at Dragonfly, a hip dance club in Jakarta, last month.
But the media-shy 29-year-old was not there to party. Now a technology investor based in Singapore, he was attending the launch of Maiplay's Indonesian group-buying website.
On his official Facebook page, Saverin said he had invested in Maiplay, which also has a Singapore website and operates in the United States as PlayHawaii. 'The site is still in its early phases so let me know what you think!'
Indonesia's start-up scene has been flourishing in the last two years and is now garnering the attention of local and foreign investors.
In May last year, Internet giant Yahoo acquired Koprol, a Jakarta-based social networking site which allows mobile users to make friends and share photos.
This April, deals website Groupon bought an Indonesian clone of itself, Disdus, which had been funded by Singapore and Indonesia-based venture firm East Ventures. Earlier this week, Groupon competitor Living Social bought Indonesian deals website DealKeren.
Indonesian business families are also channelling their money into technology. Bakrie Telecom - owned by the diversified Bakrie Group - set up an incubation fund with 100 billion rupiah (S$14.4 million) earlier this month to nurture local Web and mobile application developers.
Martin Hartono, whose family has interests in tobacco and banking, invested in business incubator Merah Putih, which is now working with six start-ups.
In exchange for some shares in the start-ups, Merah Putih offers free office space, high-speed Internet links and mentoring from senior executives in business development and marketing. This costs the firm around US$55,000 (S$68,000) a month, says Merah Putih's senior vice-president David Wayne Ika.
Indonesian tech blogger Rama Mamuaya reckons there are now more than 700 start-ups in the country developing a range of products and services. About 20 have received some form of funding. The rest are 'bootstrapped or self-funded'.
The surge in start-ups has been driven by rising Internet usage and the popularity of social media and mobile Web-browsing, especially among the young.
Only two in 10 Indonesians have Internet access now - compared with six in 10 in Malaysia and more than seven in 10 in Singapore - but this figure is expected to at least double by 2015.
Of the 45 million Web users, 38 million are on Facebook - making Indonesia the social media Web site's second-largest market outside the United States. At least 24 million Web users browse sites on their mobile phones.
Willis Wee, who co-founded Asian tech website Penn Olson, says: 'With its population size and enthusiasm about technology in general, Indonesia definitely has the potential to become a powerful start-up nation in South-east Asia.'
Maiplay's chief executive officer and co-founder Jon Sugihara adds that the Indonesian market is also conducive for e-commerce. His site targets the growing middle class, who are tech-savvy, have disposable income and are keen to try new things. Maiplay offers coupons for mostly up-market merchants in Jakarta and Sugihara estimates that the market for e-commerce there could be worth up to US$12 million a year.
'The key to this business is social commerce. People share your deals with their network. (Being) social is at the heart of Indonesians' daily interaction and we think there is a huge potential for this concept here,' says Sugihara, who hopes to expand to outside the capital.
David Wayne says Merah Putih is working with Mr Rama's tech blog DailySocial.net, which aims to be a hub for research on the tech and venture capital industry in Indonesia.
Rama hopes that with the spotlight on the tech industry, there will be greater efforts to nurture Indonesia's next wave of technopreneurs. Universities should play a key role, he said in a recent post, by offering students business incubation facilities and teaching them the latest Web technologies.
'If Indonesian universities can do this, it's one step closer to an innovative and dynamic tech industry in Indonesia.'
Program name: Adguard
Release date: November 26, 2012
Language: Russian, English, Japanese, Portguese, German, Spanish, Serbian
File size: 1.4 Mb
Adguard 5.5 is a new release of the popular ad and popup blocking program. Not only it protects users from unwanted ads, it keeps them away from phishing and dangerous websites too. While working siltently in the background, it automatically removes banners from the web pages you visit, thereby saving your traffic and reducing the page loading time. The program supports both 32x and 64x Windows versions, and it works on all popular browsers. New release fixes most of the known compatibility issues with third-party applications and some minor bugs.
Key features of Adguard:
1. Saves time and nerves;
2. Works with all popular browsers;
3. Easy to use, works just out of the box, needs no tuning or customization;
4. Comes with a browser module for manual ad blocking;
5. Updated regularly;
6. Works on 32x and 64x Windows versions.
Release notes for 5.5:
+ QT Web browser support
+ Sleipnir browser support
+ Extended logging
+ Filtration is enabled on big range of ports (not only 80)
+ In proxy mode Adguard automatically set system settings
* Problem with no filtration of some ports
* Conflict with ESET ssl filtration
* Errors with HTTPS websites in Opera browser
* Problem with Opera's periodical slowdown
* Opera Link problem
* Some problems with flash games
* Maxthon favourites synchronization problem
* Errors that occurred while loading some pages
* Some minor fixes