GIC-backed Bukalapak posts sales jump in first report since IPO

Indonesian e-commerce operator Bukalapak.com posted a 35 per cent increase in first-half revenue and narrowed losses in the debut report since its initial public offering (IPO), driven by surging demand for online shopping as the coronavirus raged.

Revenue rose to 864 billion rupiah (S$81.4 million) as transactions processed reached almost US$4 billion (S$5.4 billion), the Jakarta-based company said on Tuesday. Net loss shrank to 766 billion rupiah from 1.03 trillion rupiah a year earlier as the company reduced expenses.

Bukalapak counts Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, Microsoft and Mr Jack Ma's Ant Group among its backers.

It went public last month after raising US$1.5 billion in Indonesia's biggest IPO. The share price has fluctuated since as investors gauged the company's prospects in South-east Asia's rapidly expanding but competitive e-commerce market.

The stock surged 25 per cent on the first trading day, though it has pared gains since and was little changed at 940 rupiah in early trading yesterday, leaving it 11 per cent above the 850 rupiah IPO price.

The company operates two key business units: Bukalapak Marketplace connects buyers and sellers, while Mitra Bukalapak serves mom-and-pop kiosks known as warungs.

This year's total processing value is set to reach about US$9 billion, its president Teddy Oetomo said during a conference call on Tuesday from Jakarta. "Indonesia offers a strong growth momentum," he said, adding that he thinks the company's valuation is "still at an attractive level".

Analysts are bullish too, with all nine tracked by Bloomberg recommending buying Bukalapak shares.

Using the Mitra Bukalapak app, shop owners can order instant noodles and other goods when their inventory runs low, all of which is delivered to their doorsteps. The Mitra platform allows them to help customers without access to Internet and banking services pay electricity bills and send money digitally.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2021, with the headline 'GIC-backed Bukalapak posts sales jump in first report since IPO'. Subscribe