Jakarta-based creative agency Flock makes nest with seed funding from East Ventures

Ivan Wibowo.jpgJakarta-based full-service creative agency Flock announced today that it closed a round of seed funding of an undisclosed amount from local venture capital firm East Ventures. Flock is the new ad agency lead by Ivan Hady Wibowo (left), who recently left his former Chief Creative Officer post at J. Walter Thompson Indonesia.

As a new business Flock focuses on the convergence of above-the-line and below-the-line creative advertising and marketing services, including video content creation and influencer strategies.

East Ventures claims it will help Flock navigate Indonesia's digital startup world in an effort to help the firm find a growing niche to champion. The VC also hopes Flock can help early-stage web ventures grow faster than they ordinarily would in the archipelago.

Wibowo says his firm is starting in Jakarta as a traditional agency, but by next year, it will roll out various tech offerings, including a collaborative "content production nest" for video, and an automated influencer marketing platform.
"The reason why we established Flock was because we see the phenomenal growth of tech startup companies that need a marketing partner," says Wibowo.

In 2016, more than one in 10 ad dollars in the archipelago will be spent on digital channels - including mobile - and in the next three years, the share will exceed one in four. eMarketer expects Indonesia's digital ad spending to reach US$19.58 billion by 2019. PwC says Indonesia's overall spending on entertainment and media in Indonesia is rising at a compound annual growth rate of 10.1 percent, which means it is outpacing most other countries in APAC. The increase in overall spending during the next couple years will be fuelled by strong upticks in web advertising of all kinds.      

"I think the way we will benefit local startups is not so much about our technology, but instead the opportunity for them to have someone orchestrating the collaborative marketing effort between their companies and established brands or key opinion leaders," adds Wibowo. "Most of the startups need brand awareness with a limited budget. With someone taking care of the collaboration effort, we can make it cost-effective."  

"When we make investment decisions, the target industry must be big enough, and there must be a gap we can fill or take from the incumbent players," says Willson Cuaca, managing partner of East Ventures. "We see that Flock fits into an 'enabler' category. As the number of startups in Indonesia grows rapidly, this category will become more important. The current digital marketing strategies everyone relies on to get users may one day not be a viable option for startups. They will hit the ceiling if they're growing fast. As we go forward, they will need creative and more nuanced approaches to grab users, retain them, and communicate value. Ivan and the team are well-positioned to make this happen in Indonesia."

Flock has a handful of clients in Indonesia, namely consumer-to-consumer ecommerce platform Tokopedia, one of the nation's largest and most well-known tech companies. Wibowo says Flock currently has 12 team members in Jakarta.

He adds, "Our vision is to help companies big and small across Indonesia have access to the right marketing partner and automated influencer platform." 

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