March 2, 2024

TikTok has agreed to spend $840 million to acquire a 75% stake in Tokopedia’s e-commerce unit. Combined with an initial $660 million investment into Tokopedia’s business, TikTok’s total outlay will reach $1.5 billion. 

The deal is aimed at allowing TikTok to restart its online shopping operations in Indonesia after the country banned social media platforms from e-commerce in September.

Notably, Tokopedia is Indonesia’s largest e-commerce platform and competes with Sea’s Shopee and Lazada, which is owned by Alibaba.

The platform saw half-year gross revenue growth of 14%, although its losses narrowed sharply recently.

Partnership to Create “Indonesian E-Commerce Champion

The partnership will commence after a pilot period involving close consultation and supervision by Indonesian regulators. GoTo CEO Patrick Walujo stated:

We are creating an Indonesian e-commerce champion, combining Tokopedia’s strong local presence with TikTok’s mass market reach and technological prowess.

Under the agreement, TikTok will integrate its Indonesia e-commerce business, TikTok Shop, into the enlarged Tokopedia entity. This will allow TikTok to capitalize on Tokopedia’s large existing user base and market dominance.

This move marks TikTok’s commitment to transforming its extensive user base into a significant revenue source in the e-commerce sector. The deal is expected to significantly strengthen Tokopedia’s position in Indonesia’s rapidly growing e-commerce industry.

Walujo said GoTo, Tokopedia’s parent company, now sits on a much stronger foundation and expects considerable benefits beyond e-commerce in areas like ride-hailing, delivery, and financial services. However, shares in GoTo experienced a 13% decline following the announcement.

This is because some investors capitalized on the stock’s recent rally fueled by expectations of a TikTok deal to take profits. Analysts are keen to observe potential market disruptions resulting from this strategic partnership.

Future Prospects and Potential Outcome of the Deal

As part of the agreement, TikTok will provide Tokopedia with a $1 billion promissory note to fund working capital requirements. While some Tokopedia investors took profits on the news, leading to a sharp decline, Indonesia’s e-commerce industry still offers tremendous growth potential.

It is forecasted to expand to $160 billion by 2030 from $62 billion in 2022. Meanwhile, this recent partnership positions TikTok and Tokopedia as major beneficiaries of the country’s online shopping boom. The strategic collaboration is set to kick off with a pilot period conducted in consultation with relevant regulators. 

With over 270 million active social media users in Indonesia, TikTok aims to capitalize on its extensive reach to drive e-commerce growth. The deal is expected to conclude by the first quarter of 2024, with TikTok committing to invest more than $1.5 billion in the enlarged entity over time.

Tokopedia will receive a $1 billion promissory note from TikTok, providing flexibility for funding working capital needs. Importantly, the companies emphasized TikTok’s commitment to future funding without additional dilution to GoTo.

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