Google invests in Indonesian unicorn Tokopedia, joining Temasek

Google invests in Indonesian unicorn Tokopedia, joining Temasek

US tech companies draw battle lines Southeast Asia’s largest economy

JAKARTA — Google and Singapore’s government investment company Temasek have both invested in Indonesia’s e-commerce company Tokopedia, Nikkei Asia has learned.

The confirmation of the investment comes hot on the heels of Microsoft’s capital injection into Bukalapak, Tokopedia’s rival, and reflects the increasing appetite shown by major U.S. tech companies in Indonesia’s unicorns — private companies valued at over $1 billion.

The U.S. tech firms are increasingly looking at investment opportunities in Asia as growth in the U.S. and Europe slows. They have poured billions into India and are now starting to do the same in Indonesia, the third-largest market in Asia in terms of population.

Google now holds 1.6% of Tokopedia while Temasek-affiliated Anderson Investments has a 3.3% stake, according to documents filed to Indonesia’s Ministry of Law and Human Rights, dated Nov.4.

Tokopedia shares that Google holds are valued at 16.7 billion rupiah ($1.1 million) while Anderson-held shares are valued at 33.4 billion rupiah. The figures do not necessarily reflect the capital actually paid by both parties, while investment can come in tranches. Google and Temasek could increase their shareholding in the Indonesian unicorn at a later date.