More than half of the population in Southeast Asia is below 30, making it a coveted market for new technologies. Unsurprisingly, several countries in the region, such as Singapore and Vietnam, have some of the world’s highest crypto adoption rates.
Although Indonesia is not the most crypto activity in the region, the total crypto value received was less than half that of Thailand from July 2021 to June 2022, according to Chainalysis — the country is believed to have huge potential for web3 adoption, thanks to a young and sizeable (270 million) population and a vibrant web2 industry.
Indonesia is “catching up” on web3 as its massive talent pool still rests in the web2 industry, a crypto investor noted earlier.
But entrepreneurs are working to bring blockchain applications to the multicultural archipelago. Pintu raised $113 million in funding in June to provide crypto trading services to Indonesians. Now a startup called SerMorpheus hopes to connect brands and consumers through digital assets.
A digital asset in the form of non-replaceable tokens can be used to verify ownership. For example, NFTs can prove someone’s access to exclusive content, membership in an organization, or discounts on a deal.
“Indonesians are big consumers of social media content. A lot of intellectual property is being created, but creativity is underexposed when it comes to web3,” said SerMorpheus co-founder Kenneth Tali. “With so much money coming into crypto, why isn’t there much?” [web3] creativity that comes from Indonesia?”
Part of the problem, he argued, is the technical loops creators need to create smart contracts; they should contact multiple platforms and manage relationships with each of them. On the consumer side, users are already stuck at the wallet setup stage and worry about losing their private keys.
As such, SerMorpheus recently closed a $2.5 million seed round to create an easy-to-use platform for companies to create NFTs; end users, on the other hand, can buy and trade digital assets on the platform using the local currency rupiah. To date, the service has been used by some 27,000 people to claim tickets to music events, exclusive celebrity fan benefits, football club memberships, and so on, the founder said.
The platform still manually onboards companies and brands – 25 so far, including Indonesia Comic Con — but the next step is to make SerMorpheus as automated as creating a Facebook page. To do this, smart contracts, or lines of code that run according to predetermined rules, are standardized, as are the types of benefits creators come up with for their end users.
The startup takes 5-10% off NFTs minted on its platform and charges a 2% fee for secondary sales.
The starting round was led by Intudo Ventures, with participation from 500 Global, Febe Ventures, AlphaLab Capital, BRI Ventures and Caballeros Capital. With a team of 30 people, SerMorpheus plans to spend the new capital on building out the infrastructure and hiring staff for all functions.