More than half of Southeast Asia’s population is under the age of 30, making it a highly coveted market for novel technologies. Unsurprisingly, several countries in the region, such as Singapore and Vietnam, have some of the highest crypto adoption rates in the world.
While Indonesia isn’t the most crypto-active in the region — total crypto value received from July 2021 to June 2022 was less than half that of Thailand, according to Chinalysis — Thanks to its youth and sizeable (270 million) population, the country is expected to have huge potential for Web3 adoption. A powerful Web 2.0 industry.
Indonesia is “catching up” on web3 because its huge talent pool is still in the web 2.0 industry, a crypto investor previously pointed out.
But entrepreneurs are working to bring blockchain applications to the multicultural archipelago. Pintu secured $113 million in financing 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-fungible tokens can be used to authenticate ownership. For example, NFTs can prove one’s access to exclusive content, membership in an organization or discounts on a deal.
“Indonesians are big consumers of social media content. There’s a lot of intellectual property being created, but when it comes to web3 creativity is less exposed,” noted Sermorphius co-founder Kenneth Talley. “With so much money coming into crypto, why not more?” [web3] Is creativity coming out of Indonesia?”
Part of the problem, he reckons, is the technical loops creators must jump through to create smart contracts; They need to approach multiple platforms and manage relationships with each of them. On the consumer side, users are already stuck in the process of setting up a wallet and are worried about losing their private keys.
Also, Cermorphius recently closed a $2.5 million seed round to create a user-friendly platform for businesses to create NFTs; End users, on the other hand, can buy and trade digital assets on the platform with the local currency rupee. To date, about 27,000 people have used the service to claim tickets to music events, exclusive fan perks from celebrities, membership to football clubs and more, the founder said.
The platform is still manually onboarding businesses and brands — 25 of them so far, including Indonesia Comic-Con — but the next step is to automate Sermorphius, like creating a Facebook page. To do so, smart contracts, or lines of code that execute on predetermined terms, will be standardized, as will the types of benefits that creators create for their end users.
The startup takes a 5-10% cut from NFTs printed on its platform and charges a 2% fee on secondary sales.
Its seed 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 fresh capital building its infrastructure and hiring across functions.