Alibaba leads $1.1B investment in Indonesia-based e-commerce firm Tokopedia

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Alibaba has continued its push into Southeast Asia after it led a $1.1 billion investment in Tokopedia, an e-commerce firm based in Indonesia.

A valuation for the deal was not announced, but the companies did say that Alibaba has become a minority shareholder.

Tokopedia, which was founded in 2009, operates a marketplace that allows small retailers and large brands to sell to consumers in Indonesia, which is Southeast Asia’s largest economy. The company previously raised $100 million from SoftBank and Sequoia in 2014, and it counts East Ventures, CyberAgent and Beenos Partners among its early backers. Tokopedia said a number of undisclosed existing investors also took part in this newest round.

“The partnership with Alibaba will enhance the scale and quality of Tokopedia’s offerings to its customers and make it easier for merchants and partners to do business across the archipelago and beyond,” the companies said in an announcement.

“We have always thought of Alibaba as our teacher and role model,” Tokopedia CEO and co-founder William Tanuwijaya said in a statement. “Today, we are excited to welcome them as a shareholder and we believe that our partnership will further accelerate Tokopedia’s mission, to democratize commerce through technology.”

There’s plenty at stake in Southeast Asia. A recent report co-authored by Google predicted that annual e-commerce spend in the region will jump from $5.5 billion in 2015 to $88 billion in 2025. It estimated that half of that revenue will come from Indonesia, which is the world’s fourth largest country.

Tokopedia had been heavily linked with an investment from China lately, with sources telling TechCrunch last month that it had held talks with both Alibaba and JD.com, a rival company backed by Tencent.

Alibaba announced another blockbuster quarter of business today, which included impressive growth from its overseas commerce businesses. The firm credit Lazada, the Southeast Asia-based marketplace it invested $2 billion in, for growing its international commerce revenue by 136 percent to 2.6 billion RMB ($389 million). While that is only a small portion of its total revenue of 50.2 billion CNY ($7.4 billion), Alibaba is clearly bullish on Southeast Asia and this Tokopedia investment reaffirms that.

The deal marks the second major investment in a startup from Indonesia in the past month. Expedia put $350 million into booking platform Traveloka in a deal that valued the startup at more than $1 billion. Earlier this year, Go-Jek agreed to a new $1.2 billion round led by Tencent. That deal hasn’t been announced but TechCrunch understands that it will be made official soon.

Featured Image: Jon Russell/Flickr