Indonesian e-commerce major Bukalapak considers US listing via SPAC

Bukalapak co-founder and president Fajrin Rasyid.

Bukalapak.com, an Indonesian e-commerce company backed by Microsoft Corp., is weighing a US listing via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), according to people familiar with the matter.

The company is working with investment banks on the plan and is in preliminary talks with several blank-check companies, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Bukalapak could be valued at $4 billion to $5 billion in a potential SPAC merger, the people said. The startup could consider listing a small part of its business in Jakarta before doing a U.S. SPAC deal, they added.

Deliberations are preliminary and no final decision has been made, the people said. A representative for Bukalapak declined to comment.

Bukalapak, which means “open a stall” in Bahasa Indonesia, is an online marketplace that sells products from grapes and shoes to cars and televisions. Founded in 2010, the startup’s platform hosts 13.5 million online sellers and 100 million users.

In November last year, Microsoft formed a strategic partnership with the Indonesian firm and made an investment as part of the deal. Other investors in Bukalapak include Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co., Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte, Naver Corp. and Standard Chartered Plc. Bukalapak is valued at $3.5 billion, according to CB Insights.

The coronavirus pandemic has boosted demand for e-commerce in the world’s fourth most populous country, where Bukalapak competes with rivals such as SoftBank Group Corp.-backed Tokopedia, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Lazada Group and Shopee, a unit of Singapore-based Sea Ltd.

Bloomberg

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.