GIC-backed Bukalapak poised to raise $2 billion in landmark IPO

Online mall Bukalapak's IPO will be a milestone for Indonesia.
Online mall Bukalapak's IPO will be a milestone for Indonesia.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) - Online mall Bukalapak is set to raise about 22 trillion Indonesian rupiah (S$2 billion) in the country's largest-ever initial public offering (IPO) that presages a wave of domestic tech listings, according to people familiar with the matter.

The e-commerce marketplace is planning to price its upsized offering of 25.77 billion shares at 850 rupiah apiece, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. The shares were marketed at 750 rupiah to 850 rupiah each.

The retailer would be valued at about US$6 billion (S$8.15 billion) after the offering was expanded, the people said.

Deliberations are ongoing and an announcement on the final pricing could come as soon as Tuesday (July 20), one of the people said. A representative for Bukalapak declined to comment.

Bukalapak's IPO will be a milestone for Indonesia, as the coronavirus pandemic has boosted demand for e-commerce in the world's fourth-most populous country. The company competes with the likes of SoftBank Group-backed Tokopedia, Alibaba Group Holding's Lazada Group and Shopee, a unit of Singapore-based Sea, in the South-east Asian nation.

Bukalapak, which is backed by Microsoft and Jack Ma's Ant Group, is going public as the region's start-up scene matures and investors seek exits.

GoTo, the country's biggest tech start-up valued at US$18 billion, is expected to tap local stock markets while the region's most valuable private firm, Grab Holdings, aims to go public via a blank-check firm in the second half of the year.

Bukalapak would rank as Indonesia's largest-ever IPO, eclipsing PT Adaro Energy's US$1.3 billion offering in 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It aims to debut on Aug 6.

Besides Bukalapak and ride-hailing giant GoTo, three other local firms with a combined value of roughly US$2 billion are looking to float shares, said Indonesia Stock Exchange's commissioner Pandu Sjahrir.

Bukalapak, which means "open a stall" in Bahasa Indonesia, is an online bazaar founded in 2010 that sells products from grapes and shoes to cars and televisions.

The start-up's other backers include Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, Naver Corp and Standard Chartered. The company posted revenue of US$95.8 million in 2020 and 104.9 million registered users, it said in an earlier release.

Bukalapak is taking advantage of relaxing requirements around listings. From Hong Kong to London, stock exchanges around the world are trying to capture a slice of a global IPO boom.

Indonesia - whose US$450 billion stock market value eclipses that of Singapore's - joins its fellow bourses in relaxing regulations to entice often loss-making but highly sought-after fast-growth start-ups. There have been more than 20 IPOs so far this year and more are in the pipeline, IDX Director I Gede Nyoman Yetna has said.