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Indonesia’s e-commerce scene heats up as Tokopedia secures US$1.1 billion from Alibaba, SoftBank

  • Investment will go into technology and infrastructure, CEO William Tanuwijaya says
  • Latest funding boosts Alibaba’s share of the fast-growing Indonesian e-commerce market
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2018, 3:17pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2018, 3:18pm

Indonesian e-commerce company Tokopedia said on Wednesday that it had secured US$1.1 billion in its latest funding round led by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.

This follows a similar investment in 2017, also led by Alibaba, which has been expanding rapidly into Southeast Asia amid slowing growth in China’s e-commerce market. Alibaba is the owner of the South China Morning Post.

Tokopedia said it planned to use the funds to invest in technology and infrastructure, adding the firm would continue to focus on the Indonesian market and drive economic development and financial inclusion in the country.

The investment would help “broaden Tokopedia’s scale and reach” besides improving its operational efficiency, CEO and co-founder William Tanuwijaya said in a statement.

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Tokopedia did not confirm a valuation following the round. However, news website TechCrunch citing an unnamed source said the company was valued at around US$7 billion.

The latest funding boosts Alibaba’s share of the fast-growing Indonesian e-commerce market. The Chinese company is also a majority owner of Lazada, which is the Tokopedia’s top competitor in the market.

Indonesia is also increasingly becoming a proxy battleground for Alibaba and, China’s second-largest e-commerce company, which has invested heavily in building a logistics network in Indonesia.

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Founded in 2009, Tokopedia is currently Indonesia’s largest online marketplace, drawing comparisons to Alibaba’s Taobao.

The latest round includes investments from Softbank’s Vision Fund as well as Softbank Ventures Korea and Sequoia Capital.

The company, which delivers to around 93 percent of Indonesian districts, says it has quadrupled its sales in the past year.