Indonesian-based e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia discussing pre-IPO fundraiser
PT Tokopedia, Indonesia’s largest online marketplace, started talks with potential investors to launch a private funding round. PR Tokopedia is currently backed by the SoftBank Vision Fund and Alibaba Group Holding, Ltd., and this likely to be the company’s last private fundraiser before it simultaneously goes public on two stock markets. Besides listing in Indonesia, where it’s based, Tokopedia plans to list in another market but has yet to reveal where or when that will be, partly due to the continuing trade war.
The company expects to break even in 2020, with its GMV (gross merchandise value) projected to triple to $16 billion by the end of 2019, said William Tanuwijaya, founder and CEO of Tokopedia.
“Revenue is growing faster than GMV, while its community of sellers rose to 6.4 million from about 5 million last year,” Tanuwijaya added. “Dual-listing is most likely to be our approach. We are now in the process of picking the right partners who believe in our vision and mission.” According to studies done by Google, Bain & Co. and Temasek Holdings, the Indonesian e-commerce market predicted to expand from its current $21 billion to $82 billion in 2025. “Indonesia’s e-commerce penetration is still 4% to 5%, so the room for growth is still big,” continued Tanuwijaya.
The goal of adding the platform’s customers and sellers to its list of shareholders comes at a time when many of the world’s startups are not looking to list anytime soon. With the threat of a global recession and other startups like Uber Technologies and WeWork quickly dropping projected value, many other firms are put under pressure to prove that their business model will be profitable to investors and lead to growth in revenue. Another SoftBank backed company, and Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup, Grab, says that an IPO is not in their plans for the near future, according to the company’s co-founders.
“With a looming risk of a global recession, it’s crucial for large platforms like Tokopedia to establish a sustainable business by generating profits,” said Chatib Basri, a former finance minister and senior lecturer at the University of Indonesia. “When there is a disruption to a company as big as Tokopedia, which has 90 million monthly active users, it could result in a systemic effect,” he said.