Indonesia's Bukalapak gets investment from South Korea's Shinhan, says valuation $2.5 billion

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian e-commerce firm Bukalapak on Friday said South Korea’s Shinhan Financial Group Co Ltd joined its latest fundraising round that valued the startup at over $2.5 billion.

Bukalapak did not disclose the amount it will receive through Shinhan’s investment banking unit Shinhan GIB, nor the size of the stake Shinhan would gain.

Other participants in Bukalapak’s closing Series F fundraising included Indonesian media conglomerate Emtek, a long-time backer, the e-commerce firm said in a statement.

Bukalapak, whose other backers include Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd and China’s Ant Financial, raised $50 million in a previous fundraising round in January from South Korean firms led by Mirae Asset Daewoo Co Ltd and internet portal Naver Corp.

Surging smartphone use and rising middle-class income in a country of 260 million people have made Indonesia’s e-commerce industry a battleground for foreign investors.

The archipelago’s internet economy is the region’s fastest-growing and is likely to be worth $133 billion by 2025, showed a 2019 report by Alphabet Inc’s Google, Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd and global business consultants Bain & Co.

A spokeswoman for Bukalapak said “the new investment will ensure we have enough capital to execute our long-term strategy and business plan, which includes in our marketplace and (agent network) mitra bukalapak.”

Bukalapak previously told Reuters it expected to break even in three years’ time, as it adds product segments and expands coverage in small towns.

The company became a unicorn - a privately backed startup valued above $1 billion - after a fundraising round in late 2017.

Reporting by Fanny Potkin & Ed Davies; Editing by Christopher Cushing