Investments

SoftBank Backs Indonesia eCommerce Co

SoftBank Vision Fund Infuses Indonesian Tech Companies Tokopedia, ByteDance

SoftBank’s Vision Fund teamed up with Alibaba to lead a $1.1 billion funding round for Indonesian eCommerce site Tokopedia, according to a report by the Financial Times.

The cash infusion for Tokopedia follows $3 billion raised by ByteDance, also with a significant portion coming from the Vision Fund, but not with Alibaba. The Chinese news feed and video company is valued at $75 billion. Tokopedia is valued at $7 billion.

SoftBank, which has a target of $100 billion for the fund, is backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. It plans to set up a new investment team in China.

After Chinese tech companies like Xiaomi and Meituan disappointed their investors, the moves are seen as a vote of confidence for tech companies in the region.

SoftBank joined with Alibaba to chase startups in China, an area that’s usually controlled by Alibaba or Tencent on their own. Tokopedia is expanding its business to move beyond eCommerce into the online payment sector.

“We see our mission — to make it easy to do business anywhere — reflected in Tokopedia’s journey,” said Kenny Ho at Alibaba.

As for ByteDance, it’s been experiencing rapid growth. Last year, it bought lip-syncing app Musical.ly for $800 million. It has also looked into messaging, which would pit it against Tencent.

Last month, Softbank’s Vision Fund invested $2 billion into Coupang, a South Korean eCommerce company. The move will allow the company the money it needs to speed up the development of delivery and shopping services.

The company is valued at $9 billion. Softbank previously invested $1 billion in 2015, when the company was worth $5 billion.

“Masa [Son of SoftBank] is a visionary leader. He’s always challenged us to think big,” Bom Kim, founder and chief executive officer of Coupang, told Bloomberg. “This round came from understanding that what we’ve built is now the foundation for immense impact on customers.”

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