More than half of Southeast Asia’s population is under 30, making it a coveted market for new technologies. Unsurprisingly, several countries in the region, such as Singapore and Vietnam, have some of the highest crypto adoption rates in the world.
Although Indonesia is not the active crypto in the region – the total value of crypto 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 large population (270 million) as well as a dynamic web2 industry.
Indonesia is “catching up” on the web3 because its huge talent pool still relies on the web2 industry, a crypto investor previously pointed out.
But entrepreneurs are striving to bring blockchain applications to the multicultural archipelago. Pintu raised $113 million in funding in June to offer 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 a person’s access to exclusive content, membership in an organization, or discounts on an offer.
“Indonesians are big consumers of social media content. A lot of intellectual property is created, but creativity is underexposed when it comes to Web3,” said SerMorpheus co-founder Kenneth Tali. “With so much money flowing into crypto, why isn’t there a lot [web3] creativity from Indonesia?
Part of the problem, he felt, is the technical loops that creators have to jump to create smart contracts; they would have to contact multiple platforms and manage relationships with each of them. On the consumer side, users are already stuck at the stage of setting up a wallet and fear losing their private keys.
As such, SerMorpheus 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 rupee. 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 more, the founder said.
The platform is still manually onboarding businesses and brands – so far 25 of them, including Indonesia Comic Con – but the next step is to make SerMorpheus as automated as setting up a Facebook page. To do this, smart contracts, or lines of code that run according to predetermined rules, will be standardized, along with the types of benefits that creators design for their end users.
The startup takes a 5-10% discount on NFTs minted on its platform and charges a 2% fee on secondary sales.
Its funding 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 to expand its infrastructure and hire across all functions.