Indonesia’s online marketplace Bukalapak has seen a surge of 25% in its shares after the highest ever initial public offering (IPO) in the country’s history.

It came ahead of GoTo, another ride-hailing, food delivery, and e-commerce giant. After investment from global investors, regional start-ups and businesses have become popular.

Another internet company in the region, South Korea’s KakaoBank, also soared on its market debut in Seoul on Friday.

Bukalapak has been in business for the last 11 years and is backed by Microsoft, China’s Ant Group and the Singapore sovereign fund GIC. It raised $1.5bn (£1.1bn) in the initial public offering (IPO). Although it is loss-making, at its IPO price the company was valued at $6bn.

Bukalapak started as an e-commerce platform but now has expanded its services which includes helping smaller businesses sell on the internet. It focuses on targeting micro, small and medium-sized businesses outside Indonesia’s biggest cities and currently is the country’s fourth-largest e-commerce player after Tokopedia, Shopee and Lazada.

Indonesia’s $40bn online shopping market has been boosted COVID-19 with many consumers staying at home and more businesses selling online.

Investors around the world are also watching share listings in Indonesia closely ahead of a planned multibillion-dollar IPO of GoTo.

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, began seeking $300 million earlier this year but ended up raising $1.5 billion.

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.


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