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Indonesian e-commerce company jumps 25% in market debut

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A woman wears a protective face mask as she waits for customers inside her shop in Jakarta, Indonesia on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

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Shares of Indonesian e-commerce firm Bukalapak jumped nearly 25% in their trading debut Friday — from an initial public offering price of 850 rupiah ($0.059) to 1,060 rupiah.

As investors piled into the IPO, the sharp jump in share price triggered the Indonesia Stock Exchange’s auto rejection mechanism. The function rejects further increases in share price once the stock hits the upper limit. Stocks priced between 200 rupiah and 5,000 rupiah are allowed to rise as much as 25%.

Bukalapak shares have not moved from the 1,060 rupiah level as of 3:30 p.m. HK/SIN.

Reports said the e-commerce firm raised $1.5 billion in Indonesia’s largest IPO, and the company is valued at $6 billion.

Friday’s listing shows how bullish investors are on Southeast Asia, particularly in e-commerce, according to Romaine Jackson, head of Southeast Asia at Dealogic.

“Bukalapak is one of the leading e-commerce platforms in Indonesia, but it’s clearly not a top one or top two player. It goes to show just how much appetite and desire there is for these names in Southeast Asia, in a market like Indonesia as well,” he said Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.”

Investors are buying into Southeast Asian tech and plenty of SPACs — or special purpose acquisition companies — are circling the region’s start-ups that are valued at over $1 billion, Jackson explained. He added that Southeast Asia is currently one of the hottest global markets, where the e-commerce landscape is maturing against a backdrop of a large addressable market.

Bukalapak focuses on Indonesia’s millions of mom-and-pop shops — many of which have been forced to shift from offline to online as a result of the pandemic. The company, which is backed by Alibaba affiliate Ant Group, Microsoft and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, competes with the likes of Tokopedia, Lazada and Sea’s Shopee.

Bukalapak is the first of the four original Indonesian tech unicorns to go public. Tokopedia and Gojek recently merged to form the GoTo Group, and is also looking at an IPO. Traveloka is reportedly exploring a SPAC listing.

Other prominent tech names are also set to go public, including ride-hailing giant Grab. The Singapore-headquartered company announced in April that it would go public through a SPAC merger valued at $39.6 billion, one of the largest ever blank-check deals.

There is still plenty of untapped opportunities in Southeast Asia compared with other major regional markets like China and India, according to Vinnie Lauria, managing partner at early-stage venture capital firm Golden Gate Ventures.

“We are easily 10 years behind the curve there in China, five to seven years behind India. So there’s still a lot of upside to be had,” he said Friday on CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.


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