Indonesia’s PTTokopedia appears to have given away that it is set to bag a new round or investment. Recent reports have indicated that the country’s largest marketplace site is in talks with Chinese e-commerce major JD.com – Alibaba’s largest rival – and the latter is set to pump in a “significant” amount, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, into the platform.
Founder Leonitus Alpha Edison and vice president Amit Lakhotia were answering reporters questions on Thursday and on being asked about rumors relating to JD.com’s potential investment, or if they were looking for funding, they repeatedly said, ‘No Comment’.
Yet, mid-interaction, replying to a query from this portal on fundraising plans for the future, Lakhotia replied, “Let this one close first.” This is perhaps the first time that the company has indicated that it is talking to potential suitors for an investment round.
When quizzed further if the company was currently raising funds, they hastily clarified. ‘Well, everybody is fundraising. Everybody is talking to VCs right now.”
“Don’t worry, we will always announce our fundraises to the media,” Edison assured.
This portal had learnt that Tokopedia had raised around $150 million in an undisclosed round last year from several venture capital firms including Amasia, which has offices in Singapore and California. That funding round, which valued the company at well over a a billion dollars, brought the total amount raised by SoftBank-backed PT Tokopedia to around $250 million.
The firm first announced a successful fundraise in 2014, when it received $100 million from Japan’s SoftBank Corp and Sequoia Capital. The announcement made headlines since it was the first major deal for any Indonesian startup, and sure enough changed the way local media report on startup developments in Indonesia.
Tokopedia recently announced a partnership with state-owned Telkom to allow customers pay their monthly subscription fees to Indihome – Telkom’s pay TV, broadband internet and landlines in one package – through the platform.
Tokopedia was founded by William Tanuwijaya, the son of a factory worker, during an internet boom in Southeast Asia’s largest economy in 2009. The company now has more than 7.5 million transactions per month with a 10-20 per cent monthly growth rate. About 69 per cent users access the company’s site using mobile phones. But the vast majority of transactions still happen through the desktop version of the site.
SimilarWeb ranks Tokopedia the eighth most popular website in Indonesia, beating Twitter and Wikipedia. App Annie had named Tokopedia as the top shopping Android app based on its monthly active user count in February 2016. It is also the most visited local site in Indonesia.