#breaking Tokopedia to raise $1b from Softbank

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Annews24.com, PT Tokopedia, Indonesia’s largest online marketplace, is raising US$1 billion from existing investors including SoftBank, people familiar with the matter said.

The e-commerce operator is valued at about $7 billion after the round, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private. That would make it the most valuable startup in Indonesia, according to the research firm CB Insights. While it was not clear if the backing comes from SoftBank Group Corp. or its Vision Fund, the Tokyo-based company transferred prior holdings in Tokopedia to the fund earlier this year.

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Rapid smartphone adoption has fueled growth as 37-year-old CEO William Tanuwijaya, the son of a factory worker, taps into a population increasingly comfortable with shopping online. Indonesia’s internet economy is the largest and fastest growing in Southeast Asia with e-commerce poised to be worth $53 billion by 2025, according to a recent report by Google and Temasek Holdings Pte.

A cashed-up Tokopedia, which was founded in 2009, will present more formidable competition for its rivals. China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is expanding its Lazada business in Southeast Asia, while PT Bukalapak.com is signing up hundreds of thousands of neighborhood stores as partners and Singapore’s Sea Ltd. is investing heavily to expand its e-commerce business. A Tokopedia representative declined to comment. SoftBank did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (brf)

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