South Korean e-commerce firm SK Planet and mobile telco provider XL Axiata have decided to sell all of their stakes in online platform Elevenia, a joint venture they launched almost four years ago. The transaction effectively marks SK Planet’s exit from the country.
XL Axiata said that local firm Jaya Kencana Mulia Lestari and Singapore-headquartered Superb Premium subscribed to its shares, while SK Planet told South Korean portal Pulsenews that it sold its stake to Salim Group. It is unclear whether the buyers are related.
“This decision had been taken after careful consideration of various options that could add value to the firm. The sale will allow us to focus more on data provider, while support towards the e-commerce industry will continue through digital features we provide for our customers,” XL Axiata president director Dian Siswarini said in a statement.
In 2016, Elevenia had raised $50 million from its parents XL Axiata and SK Planet. The total amount of investment in Elevenia then stood at approximately $110 million. The company had earlier received two rounds of funding – $36.6 million in 2014 and $12 million in January 2015.
First launched in Indonesia in 2013, Elevenia was a joint venture between XL Axiata and SK Planet. The partnership enabled the e-commerce platform to leverage XL Axiata’s user base of around 48 million. Elevenia claimed to have an average of 20,000 transactions per day and 2 million registered members.
Indonesian e-commerce sector has seen strong competition among players within the last two years. Just last week, a Alibaba-led $1.1-billion round was announced by online marketplace Tokopedia. Alibaba’s funding in Tokopedia is one of its largest investments after its infusion of over $2 billion (in total) in Southeast Asia’s largest e-commerce firm, Lazada Group SA.
According to Pulsenews, SK Planet is also considering plans to pull out from three other overseas markets, namely Malaysia, Thailand, and Turkey.
However, SK Planet has denied that it will be exiting these markets. Jihnwoo Kim, Vice President of Global Strategy & Business Development at SK planet, said: “Thailand is not only the second largest e-commerce market in Southeast Asia but also is primed for robust growth. SK planet aims to pursue its global aspirations by selecting battlegrounds where we can win, and along with Malaysia and Turkey, Thailand is one of the battlegrounds.”
Meanwhile, commenting on the Malaysian market, CEO of SK Planet Sungwon Suh stated: “Recently, SK planet has made a strategic decision to pick and choose battlegrounds where we can win and Malaysia is the battlegrounds, one of the fastest growing and infrastructure-ready eCommerce markets in South East Asia.”
Celcom planet – a provider of 11street Malaysia – reaffirmed that the shareholders remain aspirational on the growth potential of the platform and are confident in the continued success in the Malaysian e-Commerce market, adding that the company is currently looking at various strategic options including funding from strategic partners to prepare for the next phase of accelerated growth.