Google, Temasek are Tokopedia’s new investors, confirms co-founder Tanuwijaya

Founder and CEO of Indonesian e-commerce firm Tokopedia, William Tanuwijaya, poses for a photograph at Tokopedia headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 25, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

Indonesian e-commerce unicorn PT Tokopedia has bagged investments from US internet giant Google and Singapore state investor Temasek, its CEO and co-founder William Tanuwijaya confirmed on social media networks on Monday.

The developments were previously reported by DealStreetAsia in June and October.

“We are pleased to welcome Temasek and Google as the shareholders in Tokopedia. We are honored and grateful for their trust and support to the company and Indonesia,” Tanuwijaya said in a statement. “We look forward to working closely with them to continuously build an enduring company, support our mission to democratize commerce through technology, and to further digital transformation in Indonesia.”

He did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction. Nikkei Asia in its report, quoting documents filed with Indonesia’s Ministry of Law and Human Rights, had earlier stated that Google now holds as much as a 1.6 per cent stake in Tokopedia, while Temasek-affiliated Anderson Investments owns another 3.3 per cent.

The funding comes at a time when Tokopedia has witnessed a significant boost in business amidst the COVID-led fog of uncertainty, said Tanuwijaya. The corpus raised is expected to help the company expand its operations in the burgeoning e-commerce marketplace that is witnessing growing competition, with regional rivals such as Sea Group’s Shopee foraying into the country.

“The changes we’ve experienced have accelerated digital transformation in every sector. Digitalization and technology are no longer seen as just value-added but have quickly evolved to become a necessity. In the past 11 years, Tokopedia has never seen a period of digital transformation as fast and as important as today, and we have made every effort to be prepared for this moment,” Tanuwijaya added in the statement.

According to earlier media reports, Tokopedia has also held fundraising talks with other US internet giants including Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon.

The funding by Google signals US strategic investors’ growing interest in Indonesian unicorns as they gear up to grab a slice of the largest economy in Southeast Asia at a time when markets in the US and Europe are witnessing a slowdown.

Earlier this month, e-commerce unicorn Bukalapak secured a strategic investment from tech giant Microsoft. This partnership heralded collaboration between the two companies on an array of technology projects, its CEO Rachmat Kaimuddin said.

During the peak of the pandemic, in June, Facebook and PayPal had made an investment in ride-hailing decacorn Gojek as part of the Indonesian firm’s ongoing Series F round, which took its total fundraise to over $3 billion to date.

Tokopedia’s growth in Indonesia has, so far, been fuelled by the backing of several well-heeled investors including Alibaba, Sequoia Capital India and SoftBank Vision Fund, which led its last $1.1 billion round in December 2018, valuing the company at $7 billion.

Separately, Tokopedia-affiliated companies now control 41.1 per cent of shares in the parent company of Indonesian digital payments services provider OVO, according to a DealStreetAsia analysis of shareholding documents.

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.