Indonesia’s Bukalapak Plans $1bn Domestic IPO

Indonesian e-commerce firm Bukalapak has begun taking orders for its planned $1 billion (£720m) IPO in the country, the first tech ‘unicorn‘ to make its market debut in the country.

Bukalapak, whose name means “opening a kiosk” in Indonesian, received enough investor orders to cover the sale on the day it began accepting orders on Friday, Reuters reported, reflecting strong demand for tech stocks.

The company is Indonesia’s fourth-biggest e-commerce firm, and like others has seen increased demand during the pandemic.

It competes with larger rivals such as Tokopedia, Shopee and Alibaba’s Lazada in Indonesia’s $40bn e-commerce market.

Strong demand

A few months ago Bukalapak intended to raise only $300m, later growing to $800m.

Last week the company expanded its offer by another 25 percent in response to strong investor demand.

It is now aiming to raise up to $1.13bn by selling up to 25 percent of its enlarged capital.

It’s seeking a valuation of up to $5.6bn, double the level two years ago and well over the $1bn mark that defines a tech “unicorn”.

It’s backed by Singapore’s sovereign fund GIC, Ant Financial, local media company Emtek and Microsoft.

The share price is to be set on 19 July, with the debut scheduled for 6 August.

‘Prime movers’

Bukalapak had revenue of $95.8m in 2020 and 104.9 million registered users, in a country with a population of 270 million, it said.

“Through this IPO plan, we can further strengthen our business network and provide opportunities” for small merchants and others in the digital ecosystem, chief executive Rachmat Kaimuddin stated.

In an online briefing for investors, Kaimuddin said smaller enterprises are the “prime movers in the Indonesian economy”.

More than 60 percent of the funds raised in the IPO are to be invested in the business, with the rest going to expand Bukalapak subsidiaries.

GoTo, the merged entity of Tokopedia and ride-hailing and payments firm Gojek, is also planning an IPO and is reportedly looking to raise at least $2bn in pre-IPO funding over the next few months, followed by a local listing.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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