Indonesia’s Tokopedia said to be in talks to acquire wedding marketplace Bridestory

Photo: Bloomberg

Indonesian e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia is in talks to acquire Jakarta-based online wedding marketplace Bridestory, according to two people familiar with the development.

It is understood that discussions are at an advanced stage and, if talks fructify, Tokopedia will pick up a 100 per cent interest in Bridestory. While the size of the transaction could not be confirmed, sources say the deal is likely to value Bridestory at up to $50 million.

When contacted, Tokopedia did not comment, while a Bridestory spokesperson said the company does not comment on market rumors.

Launched in 2014, Bridestory is Indonesia’s leading wedding marketplace, connecting engaged couples with wedding vendors and professionals.

The company secured its Series A investment in 2015 in a round led by Germany’s Rocket Internet and joined by Skystar Capital and Venturra, as well as Sovereigns Capital, East Ventures and Fenox VC which had participated in the Bridestory’s seed round.

The fresh capital gave it the firepower to embark on an international expansion, which saw it roll out operations in the Philippines, Singapore and Australia later in the same year.

The move by Tokopedia seems to be part an effort by the company to double down vertically and strengthen its core marketplace business. The e-commerce unicorn is said to also be in talks to invest in Laku6, a B2C marketplace for used phones, as reported by us last month. Tokopedia is also learnt to have a few other investments lined up in other niche segments.

While Tokopedia has also ventured horizontally into a few new verticals, mostly notably in the fintech sector, its seems to have taken a more measured approach in doing so, especially when compared to that of its local competitor Bukalapak.

In the past year Bukalapak has launched features like video content (BukaNonton), Live TV, quiz and polls (BukaPolling) and even bike-sharing (BukaBike), to add to its fintech features like e-wallet (BukaDana), mutual funds (BukaReksa) and credit payment (BukaCicilan) and (lending) Modal Mitra.

Both Tokopedia and Bukalapak have also made moves to capture Indonesia’s offline market last year by launching O2O services which allows offline merchants to sell various digital products such as internet data, electricity tokens and online game vouchers, as e-commerce products on their respective apps.

Tokopedia is also said to have launched a last mile delivery startup called Anteraja through a $50 million joint venture with China’s SF Express and Indonesia’s Triputra Group. The e-commerce firm has also reportedly picked up a minority stake in payments startup OVO.

The spending spree by Tokopedia is on the back of its $1.1 billion funding round by SoftBank Vision Fund and Alibaba Group, which came just over a year after its previous round, also $1.1 billion, led by Alibaba Group.

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. 
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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.