Indonesian e-commerce unicorn kickstarts global expansion

Indonesian e-commerce unicorn kickstarts global expansion

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2 -min read
Listen to this article

INDONESIAN unicorn Bukalapak has embarked on the international expansion of its e-commerce business.

It launched BukaGlobal on Monday, allowing consumers from Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Hong Kong and Taiwan to buy products from merchants in Indonesia through the Bukalapak platform.

The company, which counts Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Indonesian telecoms conglomerate Emtek among its backers, is hoping to capture a slice of the growing middle-class consumer population in South-east Asia.

Fajrin Rasyid, co-founder and president of Bukalapak, said that the countries chosen for the first stage of expansion have a sizeable number of Indonesian residents and consumers familiar with Indonesian products.

BukaGlobal was also designed to address regional logistics challenges faced by Indonesian businesses, such as the high costs of postal and courier delivery.

"We want to break down barriers that hinder young and small entrepreneurs from competing on a global playing field, primarily on access, infrastructure and connectivity," said Mr Rasyid. The firm is working with Singapore startup Janio for end-to-end cross-border logistics.

While Bukalapak currently has four million SMEs on its platform, not all will be able to sell through BukaGlobal. Merchants will be curated based on their geographical location and past performance.

Currently, only sellers in Jakarta and Tangerang are able to access BukaGlobal. The service will be opened to more sellers soon.