Expanding reach in Indonesia

Expanding reach in Indonesia
Photo: Katadata

The work

Katadata is a digital media, data and online research company in Indonesia focusing on in-depth economic and business news and data analysis and known for its leading-edge infographics. Since MDIF’s initial investment in 2017, we have continued to support the company by providing additional funding as well as advice and assistance through Media Advisory Services (MAS), our management capacity-building unit.

The website faced a decline in traffic due to Facebook’s drastic alterations to its newsfeed algorithm, underscoring their considerable reliance on social media for attracting visitors. MAS proved to be an important ally, helping it forge a resilient path going forward and empowering the company to address this challenge and achieve remarkable growth.

To do so, MAS extended carefully calibrated technical assistance, covering SEO audit, editorial and data journalism tools, audience development and efficiency enhancements. Collaborating closely with MAS, Katadata engaged a seasoned product content expert who mentored and coached both management and the newsroom, focusing on content and product creation to maximize audience engagement and revenue expansion. This collective effort also encompassed advertiser market surveys for better deliverables and SEO strategies.


  • Katadata expanded their offerings beyond B2B to B2C. The shift necessitated an entirely new editorial approach and workflow. Collaborating closely with the consultant, the team spearheaded product strategy, value proposition, market research and internal alignment to meet market demands effectively. They rigorously tested assumptions, refined protocols and developed action plans and a roadmap to navigate this transformative journey.
  • Based on advice from the mentor, Katadata has expanded its content production to include more evergreen content and SEO-focused materials, particularly educational content designed to increase traffic from search. For instance, articles such as “How to Report Your Taxes” have proven to be highly engaging, attracting a significant surge in traffic. The number of sessions rose by an impressive 189% between 2021 and 2022, accompanied by a significant 217% growth in new users.
  • Overall, Katadata experienced exponential growth in its reach, with an astounding increase in average monthly users of over 800% between 2019 and 2022. A long-held goal of Katadata to become one of the top three business and economic websites in Indonesia was achieved at the end of 2022 and it has since climbed to the second biggest site in this category.
  • In a national media survey conducted by Ipang Wahid Strategic (IPWS) in September 2023, Katadata emerged as one of the most widely read media outlets among internet users in Indonesia. In the survey, Katadata also ranked among the media sources that are most referenced for economic and political issues.
  • The increase in traffic has also led to a significant increase in programmatic revenue. Between 2019 and 2022 advertising revenue increased by more than 95%, while total revenue grew by over 160%.
  • MAS also conducted an audit of Katadata’s data governance and internal data sharing protocols, enhancing the team’s capacity to handle large data sets for further mining and increasing their data journalism expertise. The company ramped up its survey work, created new indices and surveys and launched new data-focused products, such as Databoks, which provides a regional data dashboard and data sets.

MDIF stands as a steadfast supporter of Katadata’s progress. Their deep comprehension of the media realm transforms MDIF into more than a mere investor; they emerge as a strategic collaborator for Katadata. Actively engaged, MDIF plays an instrumental role in tackling the obstacles encountered by Katadata. Moreover, Katadata benefits significantly from MDIF’s broad network, enabling them to glean valuable insights from media entities across different nations that share a partnership with MDIF.

Metta Dharmasaputra, Katadata CEO