Indonesian blockbuster IPO to set tone for Southeast Asia tech sector

3 minute read

The logo of Bukalapak, an Indonesian e-commerce firm, is seen outside its headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 16, 2021. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

SINGAPORE, Aug 6 (Reuters) - The first listing of a multibillion-dollar Southeast Asian tech company in Indonesia on Friday will set the benchmark for IPO hopefuls in a region where global investors are chasing fast growing e-commerce markets.

PT Tbk (BUKA.JK), a 11-year-old e-commerce company backed by Ant Group, Singapore sovereign fund GIC (GIC.UL) and local media and tech conglomerate Emtek (EMTK.JK), makes its market debut after raising $1.5 billion in Indonesia's biggest ever initial public offering (IPO).

The first listing of a venture-backed company in a country crowded with founder-led startups, has fuelled a frenzy among institutional and retail investors scrambling to get a piece of the IPO in a market that has seen few large flotations.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

"I'm expecting to get some capital gain for the listing since it will get a lot of buy ratings," said Andry Taneli, a retail investor, who cited Bukalapak's size among local tech firms and its anticipated strong liquidity versus peers.

The IPO comes as Indonesia's $40 billion e-commerce market is getting a boost from stay-at-home consumers and a shift by more businesses to sell online in the pandemic.

Bukalapak, which focuses on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises beyond top tier cities in Southeast Asia's largest economy, is the fourth-largest e-commerce player after Tokopedia, Sea Ltd's (SE.N) Shopee and Alibaba's Lazada.

Investor interest is also running high ahead of a planned multibillion-dollar IPO by GoTo, Indonesia's most valuable startup formed through the merger of ride-hailing and food delivery firm Gojek and e-commerce leader Tokopedia.

Bukalapak, which is also backed by Microsoft (MSFT.O), began seeking $300 million earlier this year but ended up raising $1.5 billion. L1N2OS07G

This came after roughly $6.5 billion of interest from about 150 institutional investors and more than 100,000 retail investors, two sources familiar with the matter said. The retail part of the IPO was doubled to 5%.

"This IPO has also demonstrated that Southeast Asia technology companies can achieve a premium valuation for growth with significant demand," said Nicolo Magni, head of global banking for Southeast Asia and India at UBS, the joint global coordinators for the issue with Bank of America.

"This creates a platform for other companies to have sizeable, highly successful offerings to list in Indonesia or other regional exchanges," said Magni.

Loss-making Bukalapak's IPO was priced at the top of its 750 and 850 rupiah per share range and the firm was valued at $6 billion.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to
Reporting by Anshuman Daga in Singapore and Fransiska Nangoy in Jakarta Additional reporting by Fanny Potkin in Singapore; Editing by Mark Potter

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.