Alibaba has continued its push into Southeast Asia after it led a $1.1 billion investment in Tokopedia, an e-commerce firm based in Indonesia.
A valuation for the deal was not announced, but the companies did say that Alibaba has become a minority shareholder.
Tokopedia, which was founded in 2009, operates a marketplace that allows small retailers and large brands to sell to consumers in Indonesia, which is Southeast Asia’s largest economy. The company previously raised $100 million from SoftBank and Sequoia in 2014 and it said that its existing backers — which include East Ventures, CyberAgent and Beenos Partners — also participated in this new round.
“The partnership with Alibaba will enhance the scale and quality of Tokopedia’s offerings to its customers and make it easier for merchants and partners to do business across the archipelago and beyond,” the companies said in an announcement.
“We have always thought of Alibaba as our teacher and role model,” Tokopedia CEO and co-founder William Tanuwijaya said in a statement. “Today, we are excited to welcome them as a shareholder and we believe that our partnership will further accelerate Tokopedia’s mission, to democratize commerce through technology.”
Alibaba had been linked with a fresh investment from China, with sources telling TechCrunch last month that Tokopedia was in talks with both Alibaba and JD.com, a rival company backed by Tencent. It appears that Alibaba has prevailed.
Alibaba announced another blockbuster quarter of business today, which included impressive growth from its overseas commerce businesses. The firm credit Lazada, the Southeast Asia-based marketplace it invested $2 billion in, for growing its international commerce revenue by 136 percent to 2.6 billion RMB ($389 million). While that is only a small portion of its total revenue of 50.2 billion CNY ($7.4 billion), Alibaba is clearly bullish on Southeast Asia and this Tokopedia investment reaffirms that.
The deal marks the second major investment in a startup from Indonesia in the past month. Expedia put $350 million into booking platform Traveloka in a deal that valued the startup at more than $1 billion. Earlier this year, Go-Jek agreed to a new $1.2 billion round led by Tencent. That deal hasn’t be announced but TechCrunch understands that it will be made official soon.