A SPAC launched in October by Peter Thiel and Richard Li is being linked to a merger with Indonesian e-commerce company Tokopedia.
About the SPAC: Billionaires Thiel and Li launched Bridgetown Holdings BTWN to target the southeast Asia region.
Thiel is well-known as the co-founder of Palantir Technologies PLTR and as one of the early investors in Facebook Inc FB. Li is an Asian tycoon with investments in insurance and banking throughout Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore.
The SPAC is targeting a company in the technology, financial services or media markets. The SPAC raised $550 million in its offering.
About Tokopedia: Bloomberg reported Bridgetown in early talks to acquire Tokopedia, a leading ecommerce company in Indonesia at a valuation of up to $10 billion. Tokopedia is the second most valuable startup in Indonesia, trailing only Gojeck, a ride-hailing and delivery company in the country.
Tokopedia is also the largest shareholder n Ovo, a digital wallet startup in Indonesia, according to DealStreetAsia, which estimates ownership of 41.1%.
Tokopedia invested in Ovo in 2019 and began a partnership with the company back in 2018. Ovo was accepted at over 500,000 merchants as of 2019, compared to rival Go-Pay’s acceptance in 300,000 merchants.
Indonesia E-commerce: Tokopedia competes with Lazarda Group, owned by Alibaba Group Holdings BABA and Shopee, owned by Sea Limited SE in Indonesia.
Tokopedia is seeing exponential growth during the pandemic according to local news site Tempo.co. The company has over 100 million active customers searching for 350 million products. Tokopedia serves 98% of the sub-districts in Indonesia.
The company said this is the fastest digital transformation they have ever seen in its 11-year history.
Tokopedia Backers: The company is backed by Softbank. Li is already a minority investor in Tokopedia through companies he owns.
Alphabet Inc GOOGGOOGL unit Google and Temasek are said to have invested $350 million in the company recently.
A report from DealStreetAsia reports Google owns 1.6% of Tokopedia. The company is also said to have held talks with Facebook, Microsoft Corporation MSFT and Amazon.com AMZN over investments and partnerships.
Benzinga’s Take: Indonesia is the largest economy in SE Asia, which could make Tokopedia a compelling investment for Bridgetown.
Jumia Technologies JMIA and Ozon Holdings OZON are pure-play e-commerce companies for emerging market e-commerce growth of Africa and Russia, respectively.
Tokopedia being a public company would give investors a pure-play way to invest in the growth of Indonesia.
Price Action: Shares of Bridgetown closed up 22.5% to $13.58.
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