Google and Temasek Negotiate to Invest in Tokopedia
Google and Temasek Holdings Pte negotiate to join a funding round of $500 million to $1 billion for Tokopedia.
PT Tokopedia co-founder and Chief Executive Officer William Tanuwijaya built this valuable Indonesian startup after acquiring early backing from SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder Jack Ma. Tanuwijaya says the company plans to list shares at home as well as in another as-yet-undecided location.
Tokopedia, now an Indonesian e-commerce giant, has since engaged with US internet corporations, such as Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Amazon.com Inc. However, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Singaporean state investment firm Temasek are more active in their negotiations with this online marketplace.
As growth in the US and Europe slows, America’s internet giants look increasingly to Asia, aiming to penetrate the continent’s growing smartphone-savvy population. Facebook purchased a stake in India’s Jio Platforms, and its WhatsApp division made a deal last month to invest in Gojek, a ride-hailing and food delivery platform.
Tokopedia nearly finalized its latest financing this year, until news emerged about a data theft attempt that could have affected 15 million users. The COVID-19 pandemic also rapidly transformed the online shopping landscape.
E-commerce platforms move quickly to serve millions of people in lockdown. Singapore’s Shopee poses some competition, and Alibaba recently appointed a longtime veteran to lead Lazada and “fight harder” in this fierce online rivalry.
The regional competitors fight to dominate Indonesia, especially since the country’s e-commerce market is projected to grow from $21 billion in 2019 to $82 billion by 2025, according to a recent study by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Co.