CT Corp’s retail unit, Bukalapak mull e-commerce JV for fresh produce, groceries

Photo by Scott Warman on Unsplash.

PT Trans Retail Indonesia, the retail arm of the Indonesian conglomerate CT Corp, is looking to partner with the IDX-listed e-commerce marketplace Bukalapak to create a joint venture targeting the fresh produce and grocery space, according to a senior executive.

“We’re in the process of creating an e-commerce joint venture for fresh [products] and groceries,” CT Corp chairman Chairul Tanjung said at a press conference.

Tanjung said CT Corp will own a 55% stake in the JV company while Bukalapak will hold the rest. He declined to divulge details of the timeline or details of the transaction.

Bukalapak’s head of media and communication Fairuza Ahmad said the company “always explores opportunities” in sectors that can support its efforts to provide services for its users.

Earlier this month, Bukalapak and CT Corp along with Salim Group, ride-hailing giant Grab, and auto marketplace Carro had announced that they will participate in the planned $335-million rights issue of Indonesia’s Bank Allo.

CT Corp is the parent company of Allo Bank’s controlling shareholder PT Mega Corpora.

The fresh produce JV comes on the back of an existing partnership between Bukalapak and CT Corp-backed Bank Allo.

Commenting on the proposed venture, Sucor Securitas analyst Paulus Jimmy said, “we believe this cooperation with CT Corp, a renowned player in the industry, will not only increase Bukalapak’s competitiveness in the e-commerce landscape but also strengthen BUKA’s overall ecosystem. Furthermore, we expect a boost in both TPV and top-line if [the plan is] given proper execution.”

Bukalapak’s total processing value (TPV) reached Rp87.9 trillion ($6.15 billion) during January-September 2021, a 51% increase from the same period a year earlier.

Challenging Gojek

The proposed JV between CT Corp and Bukalapak may also lead to both players tapping into each other’s ecosystems to take on rivals.

Nailul Huda, a researcher at the Jakarta-based Institute for Development of Economics and Finance, noted that the JV might opt to use Grab’s service for delivery given the company’s existing cooperation with Bukalapak. “It can be an integrated service that will compete head-to-head with the Gojek ecosystem,” he said.

Bukalapak and Grab have cross-ownerships and partnership relations with technology conglomerate Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk (Emtek Group) and the Salim Group. While Emtek is the biggest shareholder in Bukalapak, the company also has a stake in both Grab and the Grab-backed e-wallet OVO through its subsidiary.

At the same time, Grab also has a stake in Emtek.

The Emtek-Grab connection has allowed Bukalapak to onboard Mitra Bukalapak into Grab’s grocery service GrabMart. Meanwhile, Bukalapak also reportedly has plans to collaborate with the Salim Group, whose retail Indomaret chain has more than 18,000 stores across Indonesia.

Indonesia’s e-grocery retail is estimated to be valued at $600-800 million in 2020 and is expected to reach $5-6 billion in 2025, per research by LEK Consulting. “Online grocery and fresh goods market are clearly booming,” added Jimmy of Sucor Securitas.

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.

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.