Indonesian e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia loses top executive

Photo: Bloomberg

Indonesia’s e-commerce major Tokopedia is set to lose its Vice President of Business, Amit Lakhotia, who has resigned from the company, according to a source familiar with the development.

Lakhotia, the source said, has left Alibaba-backed Tokopedia to establish his own startup.

Tokopedia did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation from this portal, while Lakhotia refused to comment.

A former VP of Payments at Indian unicorn Paytm, Lakhotia joined Tokopedia in 2016. He has since played a key role in the growth of the startup in the last two years, leading all of its non-marketplace business activities.

He was understood to be the brains behind Tokopedia’s consumer billing product as well as the launch of its fintech-related businesses such as merchant and consumer lending, mutual fund buying and the startup’s own e-wallet, Tokocash.

Before his three-year stint at Paytm, Lakhotia spent four years as the Product Manager and Business Head at India’s NASDAQ-listed travel aggregator MakeMyTrip, now a multi-billion dollar company.

Lakhotia leaves Tokopedia at a time when the company is starting to see the fruits of its $1.1 billion funding led by Alibaba in 2017. The company now claims to host three million merchants on its platform, which boasts 40 million users.

The startup revealed earlier this year that it plans to build its very own innovation centre, replicating a strategy adopted by regional giants including Alibaba, JD.com and Lazada.

Tokopedia recently created a buzz with its Ramadan flash sale, which offered a range of select items, including cell phones, at a discounted price of Rp 25,000 ($1.8) each. According to CEO and co-founder William Tanuwijaya, the flash sale attracted as many as 300 million users to Tokopedia, beating the traffic recorded by Whatsapp and Instagram in the same month.

Tokopedia was founded by Tanuwijaya, the son of a factory worker, during an internet boom in Southeast Asia’s largest economy in 2009. The startup first announced an investment round in 2014, where it received $100 million from SoftBank and Sequoia.

Alibaba is a minority shareholder in the Tokopedia after the Chinese giant led a $1.1-billion (Rp 14 trillion) investment round into the startup last year.

Also Read:

Following Alibaba, JD.com’s lead, Indonesia’s Tokopedia to set up innovation centre

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Need to think omnichannel in Indonesia, not just e-commerce: Lippo’s Riady

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.