HighPitch 2020: Waste management play Octopus, digital concierge service Izy win Makassar battle

Andi Ichsan (right), founder of waste collection startup Octopus, listens to questions from panel judges.

Both startups have scored strong traction despite the weight of Covid-19; they are also expanding and keen to explore new opportunities 

Waste management startup Octopus and digital hotel concierge service Izy topped the Makassar chapter of Indonesia’s HighPitch 2020 startup competition last week, joining eight other regional finalists for an intensive bootcamp program that will prepare them for the national final on November 25.

Due to a shortage of entries from the Makassar chapter, which covers the provinces on Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua islands, Octopus was the only startup representing the region out of five pitching, while Izy is headquartered in Jakarta.

Other startups pitching were SME marketplace and on-demand transport platform Kururio, local handyman services platform HELPer, and travel guide marketplace Besoroh.

HighPitch is jointly organized by Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenparekraf/Baparekraf) and investors UMG Idealab and ALTIRA.

Octopus: Sorting out FMCG giants’ waste

Compared with some established environmentally friendly waste collection startups in Indonesia, such as Waste4change and Gringgo, Octopus takes a different approach – by not undertaking their own waste collection.

Instead, Octopus works with waste collectors, offtakers, and collection centers to gather data on waste products, generated from farming. The data collected is then sold to FMCG manufacturers, who need the information to understand the environmental impact of their business activities, and what they would need to do to mitigate that damage.

Such data includes the type and volume of waste, as well as the fate of the collected waste – whether it is recycled, put into landfills, or recycled. Octopus is paid according to the number of items collected and tracked throughout the waste management pipeline.

So far, Octopus has been working with FMCG brands Danone-Aqua, the joint venture between Danone and an Indonesian mineral water company, and Kimberly-Clark. Founder Andi Ichsan says that the company is in talks with P&G and Unilever, and hopes that they can score a deal with either multinational by next month.

Sandra Surya, an investment analyst from Patamar Capital, who was on the panel of judges for the Makassar pitch, singled out Octopus for having clearly communicated the waste management problem that they are trying to solve, as well as their monetization plans. She was also impressed by the traction that Octopus has demonstrated.

Izy: Contactless systems and digitized internal processes for hotels

Izy helps hotels develop a comprehensive digital system for hotel and hospitality management. On the consumer-facing side, a mobile app replaces phone calls from rooms, so guests can order room service and call for assistance without having to go through an operator. Izy also plans to add features that will let hotels collaborate with external partners to advertise local shops and experiences.

Internally, Izy’s system is built to collect data on hotel service performance. This includes data like the time taken to complete a room service order or to resolve a complaint, or which rooms get the most complaints. This data can be used to assess employee performance and identify problem areas in the hotel.

Izy has worked with 88 hotels so far. The company started with hotels in Bali, but according to co-founder Gerry Mangentang, more hotels outside of Jakarta and Bali have approached them during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“They did not want to talk unless it was face-to-face before; now we are signing deals through video calls,” Mangentang told CompassList in a post-event interview.

Izy has begun expanding overseas since a month ago. The startup joined the K-Startup Grand Challenge program in South Korea, and their service is now bundled with those of Korean property management system company Roonets, which manages more than 118 hotels and lodgings in the country. Other new deals include a client in Vietnam and a reseller partnership in India.  

CompassList is the official media partner of the HighPitch 2020 National Startup Competition.

Edited by Bernice Tang

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