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Tokopedia begins talks for last funding round prior to IPO

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SoftBank- and Alibaba-backed unicorn Tokopedia has initiated discussions with potential investors for a private funding round, which is likely to be its last before a dual stock market listing.

Photo credit: Tokopedia

The Jakarta-based online marketplace is considering to list shares at home and in another location, which has yet to be decided, Tokopedia CEO William Tanuwijaya told Bloomberg.

The head exec said the company is looking into the dual listing because it wants its consumers and sellers to also become shareholders. “We are now in the process of picking the right partners who believe in our vision and mission,” he said.

Founded by Tanuwijaya and Leontinus Alpha Edison in 2009, Tokopedia connects sellers and potential buyers directly through its platform. It secured US$1.1 billion in its latest funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund and existing investor Alibaba Group, making it the most valuable startup in Indonesia with a valuation of US$7 billion.

It operates much like its close competitor Bukalapak, which became Indonesia’s fourth unicorn in January 2018.

See also: Everything Google Announced At The Made By Google 2019 Event

Tanuwijaya said that Tokopedia is aiming to hit breakeven next year, expecting its gross merchandise value (GMV) to grow threefold to as much as roughly US$16 billion in 2019. The company’s revenue is growing faster than its GMV, while its network of sellers increased to 6.4 million from around 5 million in 2018, he added.

Chatib Basri, a former finance minister and senior lecturer at the University of Indonesia, told Bloomberg that it is crucial for companies such as Tokopedia to generate profits and have a sustainable business amid the emerging risk of a global recession.

An advantage that Tokopedia has is its established presence in and focus on Indonesia. According to a recent report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company, the country’s ecommerce market is projected to reach around US$82 billion by 2025, up from US$21 billion in 2019.

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