Jakarta-based Bukalapak began trading on the Indonesian Stock Exchange on Friday after raising about $1.5 billion.
That’s the largest on record for that exchange, according to data provided by Dealogic. Indonesian telecom giant PT Telekomunikasi, also known as Telkom, raised nearly $1.7 billion in 1995, though that was in a multi-listing split across exchanges in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Bukalapak is Indonesia’s first tech unicorn, or privately held billion-dollar company, to make its market debut.
It priced its shares at 850 rupiah (about $0.06). Shares shot up nearly 25% in its first trading session, signaling red-hot investor appetite.
Silva Halim of Mandiri Sekuritas, one of the underwriters of the deal, said that the offering was already “8.7 times oversubscribed, with orders coming from almost 100,000 investors.”
Bukalapak is now planning to exercise an over-allotment option for retail investors.
“We would like to express our deepest gratitude for the tremendous support Bukalapak has received,” Rachmat Kaimuddin, the company’s president director, said in a statement.
Bukalapak was founded in 2010 by three college friends, Achmad Zaky, Fajrin Rasyid and Nugroho Herucahyono. The Jakarta-based firm made its name by teaming up with Indonesian “warungs” — local mom-and-pop shops — to help customers order things online.
Making a splash
This has been a banner year for fundraising for startups in Southeast Asia, according to Venugopal Garre, a managing director at Bernstein who focuses on South and Southeast Asian tech.
“This is, I think, driven by two main things. One is the fact that liquidity is very rampant locally,” he said, noting that the coronavirus pandemic had played a role in boosting investors’ cash flow.
That success has been convincing for investors eyeing the region’s e-commerce market, according to Garre.
The analyst said that many investors had neglected opportunities in Southeast Asia in previous years, as growth there was often seen as in the “early stages” and “attention was largely toward China and the United States.”
Garre believes the parade of public offerings could help usher in a wave of new listings in both regions. He dismissed critics who have expressed concerns of a potential bubble, predicting that the spotlight would likely create more funding opportunities for startups in each market.
“This is just the beginning,” he said.