Alibaba and Are Bidding Against Each Other to Invest in Indonesia’s Tokopedia

Alibaba and Are Bidding Against Each Other to Invest in Indonesia's Tokopedia

Wonder who would leak to Bloomberg that both and Alibaba want to invest in Tokopedia. It is almost like Tokopedia is trying to get the most out of it.

Bloomberg on Alibaba wanting to invest in Tokopedia:

The Chinese company is in negotiations to lead a funding round in Indonesia’s largest online marketplace of up to $500 million, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the deal is private. Alibaba, which already controls Lazada Group SA, would be joining existing backers SoftBank Group Corp. and Sequoia Capital if the financing goes through.

An alliance with Alibaba would likely preclude a deal with Inc., which was also in talks to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Tokopedia, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in May. Representatives for Alibaba and JD declined to comment. Tokopedia wasn’t immediately available for comment.

​It looks now like will be losing out to Alibaba on Tokopedia. But this will certainly not be their last battle for Indonesia.

Here is Tri Nugraha, Product Owner at Tokopedia, in an interview with inc42, comparing Tokopedia to Alibaba‘s Taobao:

our endeavour is that consumers should be able to buy any product any time on Tokopedia. We are attempting to become the Indonesian equivalent of Taobao. Similarly, we want to build the payment platform Tokocash on the similar lines as Alibaba built the online payment platform Alipay.

​Tokopedia is already ​expanding into an all-around one-stop-shop that goes far beyond a traditional marketplace model, and, frankly, sounds on an abstract level a little bit like WeChat (regarding the importance in the customers‘ lifes):

So, though we first started with the Tokopedia marketplace in Indonesia, we then diversified into Tokopedia official stores where customers can buy all the merchandise from our official partners which are legitimate brands. All the products in the official stores are sold and shipped directly by the authorised store.Thirdly, we forayed into Digital Products and this leg of our business enables customers to pay their electricity bills, pay for cable, or for insurance.

​For Tokopedia, the focus is now on strengthening payments (makes sense given the above mentioned expansion) and expanding the ‚offical stores‘, creating more trust:

strengthening our payments platform and locking in more official stores will be our key current focusses as we target 25% growth this year.

​Read the whole interview. It is enlightening regarding Tokopedia.

Tokpedia is well funded:

Tokopedia is one among Indonesia’s most-funded startups, having raised more than $240 Mn in funding from investors such as SoftBank, Sequoia Capital, CyberAgent Ventures and East Ventures. In its latest round in April 2016, it secured $147 Mn in Series E from undisclosed investors. It also claims to be the most visited local site in Indonesia.

We looked in February at how Tokopedia created successfully a marketplace in a country consisting of 17,000 islands.

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