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6 Startup Unicorn Indonesia that You Should Know


This year, there are 6 startup unicorn Indonesia. Indonesia is known as one of the unicorn producing countries in the world. The term unicorn has begun to be familiar in the ears of the people. However, there are still many who do not know clearly what Unicorns are.

Unicorn is a term that is very familiar in the world of startups. Unicorn has a definition, which is the term used to encode startups that have a valuation of more than US $ 1 billion. The term unicorn was first put forward by Aileen Lee who is the founder of Cowboy Ventures. 

6 Startup Unicorn Indonesia that You Should Know

Launching from TechCrunch, the term first appeared when Cowboy Ventures built a dataset of technology companies based in the US in January 2003. Since building the dataset, 39 companies were found to have a valuation of more than US $ 1 billion in the US, so Lee called it a unicorn because it met the criteria. 

Speaking of unicorn criteria, a startup can be included in the unicorn group if it has a valuation of more than US $ 1 billion. That value can be obtained from both public and private market investors.

List of Startup Unicorn Indonesia

1. Gojek

Gojek was founded by Nadiem Makarim and two other in October 2010. Gojek started its business as a motorbike motorcycle taxi service through the call center and while standing only had 20 drivers.

The title of unicorn status was won by Gojek in 2017 when the valuation was estimated at 1.2 billion US dollars. After two years, the status of Gojek increased to decacorn.

Based on the latest CB Insights research entitled “Global Unicorn Club: Private Companies Valued at $ 1B + (as of March 14, 2019)”, Gojek became the first technology company in Indonesia to have a valuation of 10 billion US dollars and entitled to hold decacorn status, higher than the unicorn rank.

Gojek now has operations in 204 cities and districts in Indonesia. Not only that, but overseas expansion has also been carried out in several Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand.

2. Traveloka

Traveloka is a startup engaged in leisure. The company initially provided a flight ticket and hotel purchase service online, but now they also provide other services, such as Safari entry tickets to car rental.

The title of a unicorn has been achieved by Traveloka since July 2017, when it obtained an investment from Expedia of 350 million US dollars. Now, according to CB Insights data, Traveloka has a valuation of US $ 2 billion or around Rp27 trillion.

6 Startup Unicorn Indonesia that You Should Know

3. Tokopedia

Tokopedia was first established by two friends, William Tanuwijaya as CEO and Leontinus Alpha Edison as CTO and COO on February 6, 2009. On August 17, 2009, the site Tokopedia (dot) com officially launched. Over time, the injection of funds from Alibaba in 2017 then brought Tokopedia to become a unicorn startup. It took eight years for Tokopedia to achieve this status.

The number of Tokopedia monthly active users has reached 90 million as of August 2019. While for the number of sellers in Tokopedia there are now 6.4 million merchants. Tokopedia’s valuation value is predicted to reach 7 billion US dollars or around Rp 97 million.

4. Bukalapak

is one of the e-commerce startups in Indonesia who received a unicorn title. This startup was founded by Achmad Zaky along with two of his friends, Nugroho Herucahyono and Fajrin Rasyid, in 2010.

At that time, they read about potential opportunities to develop an online store website which is now known as e-commerce. His foresight finally paid off with Bukalapak being transformed into a startup with a unicorn title in 2018.

Until its 10th year, the number of active users has reached more than 70 million and Bukalapak application visits have reached 42 million times per month. The valuation value of Bukalapak is estimated to have reached 2.5 billion US dollars or Rp34 trillion.

5. OVO

The startup in the field of e-wallet, OVO, officially holds unicorn status in 2019. OVO itself is mentioned as a mobile payment application made by LippoX in 2017. The news of the status of the unicorn OVO first emerged from the data provider of the platform for analysis and machine intelligence, CB Insights, which has a list of startup groups that have won the unicorn title.

In the list, there is a startup name OVO. Three investors have joined OVO, namely Grab, Tokopedia, and Tokyo Century Corporation. OVO valuation is said to have reached 2.9 billion US dollars or equivalent to IDR 40 trillion as of October 2019.

6. JD.id

JD.id became the sixth Indonesian startup with the status of a unicorn. The e-commerce startup’s valuation is said to have exceeded 1 billion US dollars. The news of JD.id already holding a unicorn came from the DailySocial report. 

JD.id management also confirmed to the coil, that the valuation of their company has reached 1 billion US dollars since 2019. However, JD.id does not mention the details of the company’s current valuation. It is known, JD.id’s unicorn status was obtained after holding a joint venture with several other companies, including Gojek. 

The company first started operating in Indonesia in 2015. Based on CrunchBase data, currently JD.id business is growing very rapidly. JD.id also provides shipping services that reach 365 cities throughout Indonesia with thousands of fleets ready to send directly to their customers.

6 Startup Unicorn Indonesia that You Should Know

Some of the World’s First Startups that Received Unicorn Status

This unicorn startup is spread in various parts of the world including the United States, China, Germany, India, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. These startups also work in various fields such as finance, marketing, service, retail, and even games.

Based on research data from CB Insights, the first startup in the unicorn category was Uber. This startup from the United States has a valuation of 51 billion US dollars. The second position is occupied by Xiaomi, China, worth 46 billion US dollars. Then, the third position is occupied by Airbnb, United States, worth 25.5 billion US dollars.

Following the calculation of Venture Beat, a startup does require quite a long time before it can penetrate the unicorn category. The average startup takes about six years to get into that category.In terms of startup business development, Indonesia can be said as a country that can be taken into account. This is indicated by the number of startup unicorn Indonesia that have expanded their markets internationally.

(Read also: 5 Startups from the 1000 Startup Digital Movement )