Google Eyes Investing In Indonesia’s eCommerce Hub Tokopedia


Google and Temasek Holdings Private Ltd., an investment company owned by the Singapore government, are in talks to invest as much as $1 billion for Tokopedia, sources told Bloomberg News.

The Indonesian eCommerce retailer backed by SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund has also met with Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Inc., the sources said.

But Google and Temasek appear to be the most interested, and negotiations could conclude in a few weeks, Bloomberg’s anonymous sources said.

In 2018, SoftBank’s Vision Fund and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the Chinese multinational technology company specializing in eCommerce, retail, Internet, and technology, led a $1.1 billion funding round for Tokopedia.

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

The infusion followed $3 billion raised by ByteDance Ltd., the multinational internet technology company headquartered in Beijing.

SoftBank, which had a target of $100 billion for the fund, is backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

Bloomberg reported America’s largest internet corporations are eyeing Asia where the region is exploding with smartphones and tech-savvy residents. Its growth potential contrasts the sales slump in the U.S. and Europe.

The country’s eCommerce market is projected to expand from $21 billion in 2019 to $82 billion by 2025, according to a recent study by Google, Temasek and Bain & Co., Bloomberg reported.

Facebook is buying a stake in India’s Jio Platforms, while its WhatsApp unit struck a deal last month to invest in ride-hailing and food delivery giant Gojek.

If the deal is signed, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Temasek would be major scores for one of Southeast Asia’s biggest eCommerce operators.

The timing coincides with retailers hoping to serve the millions of people in the region making their first online purchases as the COVID-19 lockdowns are eased.

Tokopedia co-founder and CEO William Tanuwijaya built the country’s most valuable startup after securing early backing from SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, Bloomberg reported.

Spokespersons for Tokopedia and Temasek declined to comment.

Google didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.