Watch closely - this next gen might just be creating another unicorn

  Christina Suriadjaja

Christina Suriadjaja

Meet Christina Suriadjaja, the co-founder of Travelio, who heralds from a family business background. Suriadjaja and her colleagues at Travelio might just be creating an Asian billion-plus dollar business.

Travelio is Indonesia’s answer to Airbnb. Over a period of just three years, the Jakarta-based venture has become one of Indonesia’s biggest accommodation-sharing platform in terms of revenues and listings. Travelio and its founders have ambitious plans to grow beyond its borders and become one of Asia’s biggest accommodation sharing and travel groups. And it’s beginning to attract serious interest from some big players in the venture world.

Travelio has just announced an oversubscribed $4 million Series A funding round. Backers include Malaysian-based Vynn Capitial, which led the round and was started by Victor Chua, formerly with Gobi Ventures. Other backers include Silicon Valley-based Fenox Venture Capital, and Singapore-based Insignia Ventures Partners, founded by former Sequoia Capital Venture Partner, Yinglan Tan.

At the age of just 23, Suriadjaja set up Travelio with Hendry Rusli and Christie Tjong, after deferring a prestigious graduate degree in the US and a top job at a global travel group. For Suriadjaja, the entrepreneurial urge was too great not to pursue. 

The daughter of Johannes Suriadjaja, who runs PT Surya Semesta Internusa, a big Indonesian property, construction and hospitality group, Suriadjaja has become perhaps one of the best examples of a next-gen coming from a family of business owners and pursuing their own ambitions with serious intent.  

She and her colleagues certainly have plans for Travelio. “We want to be the largest accommodation rental platform in Indonesia and eventually expand to Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines in the near future and become recognised as one of the leading hospitality brands in Southeast Asia,” Suriadjaja told Family Capital.

And here’s her advice to next gens thinking about their future. “Embrace your unfair advantage, reputation and don't be afraid to leverage all your resources including the knowledge and expertise of family members, mentors, investors, and friends to help solve tough problems and triumph on opportunities. Be humble and have a high sense of responsibility as you have to get comfortable being responsible for your employee's career path and well-being when venturing out and creating new enterprises.”

She adds: “Get a partner who not only complements your skills and abilities but also shares a mutual vision for the company. Never discount the possibilities that lie ahead and you're never too young, too incompetent, too inexperienced to disrupt an industry and create value in the community.”

Last year, Suriadjaja won the prestigious EY NextGen Club Award. Already an inspiration to her next-gen peers, Suriadjaja is fast becoming one for the entire business world as well.

Watch this space.