Jaramba: The app that’s pulling all the stops for a safer & more reliable daily commute in emerging markets.

Several years ago, one afternoon in Hanoi city center, I sat on the terrace in a cafe, watching people pass by with their various activities. A city bus passed, and I want to try it on but I couldn’t understand all the information on the bus. It was written in the Vietnamese alphabet. I finished my coffee quickly and ordered a taxi through a costly ride-hailing app as I had no other choice because I didn’t want to gamble by renting a motorbike there.

anugrah-nurrewa

Author

Anugrah Nurrewa

Upon returning to Bandung, Indonesia, I sensed a recurring situation as seen in other cities in emerging countries: typically high populations and car-oriented cities. With the average density reaching four times the density in European cities, emerging cities facing a very high motor vehicle growth. While the world is talking about the future of Mobility, we are still experiencing difficulties in moving between places.

Our public transport system is far from ideal. We have to search for the route first, then wait indefinitely on the sidewalk (if there is one), get confused on which bus we should take and when to switch to the next buses. Then we have to pay cash.

All of those inconveniences push people to become dependent on private vehicles.  

As a result, the transportation sector in Bandung consumes 3.6 million liters of gasoline which produces 257 Gigatonnes of CO2 (2012). Meanwhile, in Jakarta, losses due to congestion reached US$ 4.5 billion (World Bank, 2019).

Like other emerging cities, Bandung also has informal community transport to respond to local people's everyday Mobility needs, called Angkot. Angkot drivers not only provide transport services in congested built-up areas but also are a major source of livelihood for local drivers and their families.

Unlike drivers at formally-managed public transport that get paid on a fix, monthly wages, Angkot drivers get their income from revenue sharing of their daily revenue, after cut to the fleet owner, cooperative daily deposit, and petrol expenses.

The city governments faced difficulties in managing Angkot due to a high level of informality in internal management that leads to uncertainty in services and fare structure. The people of Bandung rely on 5,500 Angkot fleets on 39 routes.

Ideas, as many people said, are a dime a dozen. Execution is not.

For almost two years my mind was occupied by this particular problem. It gets more complicated as I don't want to build a business that overlaps government or NGO roles.

January 2021 I met my friend, Erdy, with whom I shared my vision and the discussion goes deeper. Feeling challenged by the situation in our home country, we decided to test and validate this idea. The founding team of Jaramba was formed, marked with Rama joining as a tech co-founder.

Our first question is: how might we implement a reengineered MaaS to adapt it to the situation of emerging countries? We need some help to build this idea. The first thing that crossed my mind is checking Antler website, an accelerator which I knew when I visited Sydney Startup Hub back in 2019 (and I am kinda obsessed with them ever since, haha!).

Turns out that they are opening SG8 cohort. With no hesitation, we apply Antler SG8 cohort as a pre-formed team. With no exit nor ex-unicorn experiences in the three of us, it feels surreal when we got the good news. The programs were designed aggressively that we keep ourselves busy with cycles of validation.

In one week we can go test destination check-in features, validate it to potential supermarket partners. Another week we go travel to a touristy regency to validate tourism integration features with a local company. It all paid off with us passing through the IC and getting our pre-seed investment!

After a series of validations, including a PoC live testing campaign — Jarambah Week, we finally go live on 7 January 2022 starting from Bandung. We simplify Mobility in emerging markets by integrating public transport services into a single platform where users can get trip information, check real-time vehicle positions, pay cashless and buy in bulk. We have been operating for 7 weeks now.

Blue bus parked on the side of the road as passengers disembark outside ikea

We have partnered with Angkot cooperative and metro bus operators in Bandung, with a total of 4 routes consisting of 110+ fleets integrated,     already used by 4000+ users, and serving 400+ among them.  
Security waving while sitting inside a vehicle wearing face masks

"A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation" is a quote from Gustavo Petro, the former mayor of Bogota that is in line with our vision.

In Jaramba, we strive to provide equal access to Mobility services for everyone. We believe the future of Mobility, at least for the next few decades, is neither flying cars nor teleport gates, but the coherence and connectedness in the whole public transport system. To do daily trips, we don't need to trap ourselves behind the steering wheels, we just need a few taps on the smartphone.

Infographic showing 4 smartphones displaying 4 different functions of the Jaramba interface

The intricate behind-the-scenes integration is simplified in such a way so that the services arrive in front of the user's screen. This will make it easier for us to travel every day without having to tie ourselves to the liability of car ownership because Mobility is a primary need of modern people.

Having reliable and affordable public transport is key to social and economic equality. People can easily go to their school or work, and in the long run, will improve the economic condition in emerging countries.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest news and views from Antler’s global community

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Must-read articles from Antler

Browse our collection of founder stories, industry insights and latest startup successes from Antler Australia

See articles
Insights
5 min read
The 2022 Benelux Unicorn Founder Roadmap: How to build unicorns in Benelux

As everyone anticipates the next wave of ultra-successful companies in Benelux, what does it take to get there? What do the successful founders of Benelux unicorns look like? This report is an in-depth look at the Benelux startup ecosystem and its brightest stars. And above all, it is for anyone who is helping build the next 50 unicorns in Benelux.

Insights
5 min read
The Angle: Why the long-term view is the hard but right one

The Angle is a new content series from Antler, featuring perspectives from our team members on the biggest events and trends impacting founders and early-stage investors today. Every article is that person's unique angle on a hot topic—what they see from their vantage point in one of our 25 offices around the globe—not Antler's stance. In our first edition, Jeff Becker draws lessons from the demise of FTX and turbulent tech moments in recent years. This article first appeared in Jeff's Monday Morning Meeting on Substack.

Founder Stories
5 min read
Jamie Bubb: The tech marketing venture developer connecting brands and content creators

Our new content series—"It All Starts with People"—delves into the passions, motivations, and vision of the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering wtih around the world. In our second spotlight, we sat down with Jamie Bubb, co-founder of Twirl, a remote content studio powered by top-quality creators that helps brands scale their content engines rapidly and cost-effectively.

Insights
5 min read
Venture investing in the downturn

We are living two simultaneous realities: the uncertainty of the current downturn and the unstoppable wave of innovation disrupting every industry. Against this backdrop, Antler's Kevin Brennan shares perspectives on assessing your position in venture capital for the rest of 2022 and into 2023. Might 2023 be the best vintage for the coming decade?

Founder Stories
5 min read
Emilia Theye: The psychologist using AI to democratize access to mental health solutions

Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. To honor them, we are launching a new content series—”It All Starts with People”—spotlighting the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering with around the world. Each story is a window into their passions, motivations, and vision—the reasons they are building and the positive dent they are aiming to make on the world.

In our first spotlight, we sat down with Emilia Theye, the co-founder of clare&me—a mental health app that uses language-based AI to develop an innovative approach to virtual self-help.

News
5 min read
Backing founders from day zero to greatness

Today we are sharing our new brand that reflects that commitment and the reason Antler exists: to stand behind our founders from day zero and to keep backing them on their paths to greatness.

Founder Stories
5 min read
Seven ways founders can prioritize mental well-being as they build

Founders are the life force of the startup ecosystem. They give their all, betting on their seemingly “crazy” convictions and executing on abstract ideas that can potentially make our lives and work easier, faster, healthier, and better optimized.

But sometimes they do this to the detriment of their health. Being a founder means being beholden to customers, employees, and investors while balancing personal life. Often founders trade their stable, well-paying jobs to prioritize the restless inquisitivity of their mind. In the quest to answer the question “what if?”, they sometimes sacrifice their mental and physical health, only realizing the effects on their state of mind once they have impacted their ability to function as a leader. We have also seen how the mental pressure on founders can cause distress to those who depend on them for their livelihood and direction.

Insights
5 min read
A fresh take on early-stage VC: Harvard Business School publishes a case study on Antler

Harvard Business School (HBS) recently published a case study about Antler’s fresh approach to early-stage venture capital. Antler Co-Founder Fridtjof Berge shares thoughts on how the case sparks discussion about the best ways to identify and support great people anywhere on earth.