Bridgetown Holdings Reportedly Reviewing Merger with Tokopedia
A company backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel, Bridgetown Holdings Ltd is reportedly considering a potential merger with Tokopedia. The valuation of this Indonesian e-commerce startup is said to be US$ 8 billion to US$ 10 billion.
One of Bloomberg sources familiar with the plan said Bridgetown Holdings Ltd is exploring the structure and feasibility of the agreement with Tokopedia. “The discussion is still at an early stage,” was quoted as saying by Bloomberg, Tuesday night (15/12).
He also said that Bridgetown has the opportunity to study other companies that will be invited to consolidate. On the one hand, Richard is a shareholder of several giant entities. Through his investment company, Pacific Century Group, Richard entered FWD Group Ltd and Legendary Pictures.
Based on D-Insights’ investigation of Bridgetown’s prospectus to the US stock exchange regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Richard is also listed as Tencent’s initial investor. It is reported that he has long been interested in Tokopedia.
The CEO of Pacific Century was Appointed to the Tokopedia Board of Directors
The Hong Kong tycoon also appointed Pacific Century CEO Daniel Wong as a member of the Tokopedia board of directors. Daniel represented Pacific Century leading series D funding for Tokopedia in June 2013.
Meanwhile, billionaire Peter Thiel is the owner of Bridgetown, through investment company Thiel Capital. He is also a well-known Silicon Valley investor who co-founded PayPal and Palantir Technologies Inc.
Another fact, Bridgetown only offered an initial public offering or IPO in October. The company raised US$ 550 million from the IPO. D-Insights reported, the IPO confirmed the suspicion that Bridgetown was formed specifically to acquire Tokopedia.
In the IPO prospectus, the company stated that its business focus is the technology, financial services, or media sectors in Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, Tokopedia obtained funding from Google and a Singapore-owned investment company, Temasek Holdings, last October.
Tech giants from the United States (US) such as Facebook and Amazon are also reportedly negotiating with Tokopedia. If Bridgetown becomes a merger, Tokopedia’s ambition to raise funds of up to US$ 1 billion before the IPO in 2023 will materialize. The merger also allows IPOs on two stock exchanges or dual listings, namely in the US and Indonesia.
Tokopedia Reaches 98% of Districts and Attracts 100 Million Users per Month
An e-commerce company, Tokopedia, claims to have covered 98% of districts in Indonesia. Unicorn Indonesia also attracts 9.7 million sales partners and 100 million users per month. Tokopedia CEO William Tanuwijaya said that the unreached 2% generally do not have internet or electricity access.
“It’s only a matter of time to reach all parts of Indonesia,” he said in an event at the Indonesia Digital Conference 2020 held by the Indonesian Cyber Media Association (AMSI), Tuesday (15/12).
Data from the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) shows that there are 12,548 villages that have not had access to the fourth generation internet network, aka 4G or blank spots. A total of 9,133 of them entered the frontier, remote and disadvantaged (3T) areas.
However, the ministry is targeting all villages to have 4G access by 2022. This is done by using satellites and building more Base Transceiver Station (BTS) towers. To reach areas that are not yet accessible to the internet, Tokopedia relies on millions of stall partners who are present in more than 500 districts/cities.
The company has also served more than 50 million customers since the Online to Offline (O2O) service was launched in 2018. “They (stall partners) can sell pulses, tickets and receive electricity payments,” William said. “They can also stock up merchandise at a lower price.” The jumbo startup has also developed a smart warehouse network called TokoCabang. This service aims to help sellers fulfill orders throughout Indonesia. He also noted, business actors and the public began to switch to digital transactions during the corona pandemic.