JAKARTA, Indonesia — PT Tokopedia, the online marketplace backed by the SoftBank Vision Fund and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is in talks to raise as much as $1.5 billion for a final private funding round before an initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.
US internet companies as well as existing investors are considering contributing to the round, which could bring in $1 billion to $1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2020, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. No final decisions have been made and the value of the round could change, they said.
Chief Executive William Tanuwijaya is hoping to attract new investors and raise the 10-year-old, Jakarta-based company’s profile overseas when he lists the firm’s shares locally and in another as-yet undecided market, he said in an interview last month. He declined to specify a timetable for the IPO because of uncertainty about how the trade war between the US and China will affect markets.
IPO hopefuls are also operating under the shadow of WeWork, which scrapped its plans to go public in September and saw its valuation plummet from $47 billion as recently as January to about $8 billion. The fallout has led to calls for companies to focus more on cash flow and profitability.
Still, Tokopedia is experiencing a sales boom, tapping into the growth in Indonesia’s online retailing market. The Jakarta-based company anticipates its gross merchandise value to triple to as much as 222 trillion rupiah ($16 billion) in 2019 with sales growing even faster, Tanuwijaya said in October.
The value of the country’s e-commerce industry is projected to expand from $21 billion in 2019 to $82 billion by 2025, according to a study by Google, Temasek Holdings Pte and Bain & Co.
By Yoolim Lee, Giles Turner and Dinesh Nair; editors: Peter Elstrom and Amy Thomson