#Asia Who the hell is @startupwati?

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Indonesian startup scene gets spicier with the presence of an omnipresent, often scandalous being

Startupwati 1

No, we are not talking about Indonesian pop singer Isyana Sarasvati, though this particular Twitter account displays her profile picture — obviously, she was the parody account’s namesake.

Debuting on Twitter on September 2015, Isyana Startupwati (@Startupwati) garnered almost 2,500 followers and got less than 700 tweets.

Her bio claimed that she (he?) is located in Slipicon Valley, and described herself in Bahasa Indonesia as a ‘startup observer, unicorn lover. Disrupting the disruptor.’

Her tweets are appealing because she often makes fun of things that startup founders and employees do:

Startupwati 6

“Tomorrow’s Monday, is cash flow safe? | 15% Of course it’s safe | 24% Err … It’s safe … | 18% We got $550M | 43% *Takes a side glance at Hary Tanoe*”

(Context: Hary Tanoe is the founder of MNC Group, which had been recently investing heavily in Indonesian startups)

Her audiences are also keen to know her opinion about things.

"Do you believe in the claims made by GrabBike?" | "Nope"

“Do you believe in market share claims made by  GrabCar and GrabBike?” | “Skeptical”

She gave the impression that she knows well about the local community. Always at the forefront of the latest gossip, the unconfirmed and scandalous nature of her tweets is what keeps audience flocking.

Startupwati 4

“Wow. Assuming this pic is real, Gojek’s power of lobbying is uh-mazing.”

(Whoa, that was a breach of privacy if it’s real!)

Such as when she talked about several e-commerce platforms closing up or laying off staff (Take everything with a grain of salt, readers!)

Startupwati 7

“PinkEmma was sold instead of closed, but not in a good price. It has to be done in order to save the company” | “Bobobobo laid off 40 staffs. A good number to make a new startup”

She also seems to have fortune telling ability, since she already knew about Telkom blocking Netflix days before the news is out.

Startupwati 2

“Cable TV provider is lobbying Minister of Comms to force ISPs to block Netflix. In 10 … 9 … 8 … 7 …”

Or when she claimed that several people had witnessed a John Riady-look-alike having a meeting with a Nadiem Makarim-lookalike at a shopping mall, months before MatahariMall announced partnership with Grab.

Startupwati 9

“Lippo ends up having partnerships with Grab. Which means that time’s meeting between John Riady-Nadiem Makarim: 1. Was canceled 2. Will be in other form”

Also Read: My ancestors roll in their grave every time a startup wants to expand to Indonesia

Startupwati is not the only one in this ‘sub-sector’ of local startup scene.

There is Bunga Citra Lestartup (@BCLstartup), whose name is also a play of an Indonesian actress and singer. But in terms of tweet numbers, especially considering she (he?) last tweeted in December 2015, Startupwati seems to be the winner here.

Now here comes the biggest question of all: Who exactly is Startupwati?

  • She is definitely someone in the local startup scene, either a startup founder, employee, or investor. Personally, it is more likely that she is of an investor, as she once given pro-tips about securing funding from VCs.
  • She is close to the government or government-owned businesses though may not exactly be on their side
  • She is not as young as it seems (Sorry, Wati, but if you know what happened to Telkom years ago then you can’t possibly just graduated from high school)
  • She attends startup events in the country (Keep your eyes open, people!)
  • She may or may not be a woman
  • As Twitter user @treespotter pointed out, Startupwati must be ‘someone who is accustomed to branding’.

Do you have any idea who she really is? If you are in the Indonesian startup scene and have been following her on Twitter, how do you feel about her tweets? Despite its scandalous nature, what do you think of her insights?

Share us your thoughts!

The post Who the hell is @startupwati? appeared first on e27.

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