Bukalapak founders’ fund backs early round of Indonesian coding test firm

Init 6, the VC firm established by two Bukalapak co-founders, has backed Indonesia-based developer skills company Algobash’s pre-seed round. The former foresees heightened demand for programmer assessment tools amid the subdued investment activities in the tech sector.

Founded in 2021 by Elfino Sitompul and Melinda Wardiman, Algobash offers a tool that helps employers filter top-quality programmers through coding test solutions and pre-employment assessments.

The company says its tool ensures an objective and unbiased recruitment process, which not only helps avoid the risk of bad hiring but also ensures equal and even employment opportunities for all existing talents.

Algobash has also rolled out a B2C business line that sees it offering coding courses to help developers improve their programming skills.

The company says the capital from Init 6, which counts as its first external funding round, will be used to ramp up its marketing capabilities, particularly to further tap the B2C audience.

Going forward, Algobash will introduce more features for recruiters in the market, says COO Wardiman. “We aim to be the only hiring solution for companies,” she adds.

Squaring up to global peers

One of the reasons for building Algobash, the founders say, was the absence of coding test solutions in Southeast Asia. This problem has prompted many companies in the region to turn to tools from Silicon Valley, Europe, and other parts of the world to help them assess employee coding skills.

Among the more popular tools in the market are developed by US firms HackerRank and Codility.

These companies operate in a tough space due to the technological expertise required, concedes Sitompul. However, he believes his company’s products are “on par” with those coming out of Silicon Valley.

“We want to be the local company that goes head-to-head with them,” says Sitompul, who also serves as the company’s CEO.

Being a local player gives Algobash an edge over its global competitors, as its understanding of the market enables it to ensure its product is tailor-made for and fits the budget of Indonesian users. This has helped it attract various clients from a range of different sectors, including taxi giant Bluebird, beauty firm Paragon, and tech company KoinWorks.

As part of its pricing strategy, Algobash not only places its offerings at lower price points than its competitors, it also offers an unlimited quota for employers to assess potential hires.

The same goes for its B2C business. Since Algobash leverages computer-based tests and videos for students, it can offer courses at much lower prices compared to the many bootcamp programs available on the market.

By making programming upskilling more accessible and affordable to talents in Indonesia, Sitompul hopes his company can play its part in strengthening the country’s competitiveness in the tech sector.

“There needs to be a mechanism that is scalable and affordable in order for Indonesia to produce more qualified programmers. If not, we will lose out,” he says.

(Source: TechinAsia)