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Daily Markup #292: Bukalapak kicks off US$1.13B IPO, biggest in Indonesia in over a decade; Grab’s Anthony Tan on why the super app works for its 8 markets; How clinical research in Europe will boost Naluri in Southeast Asia

500 Southeast Asia Team



Credit: Reuters

A piece of the e-commerce pie

  • 500-backed e-commerce platform Bukalapak has kicked off what is said to be Indonesia’s biggest Initial Public Offering (IPO) in more than a decade. The startup is looking to raise up to US$1.13 billion.
  • According to Reuters, Bukalapak is seeking a valuation of up to US$5.6 billion — a number double the level two years ago.
  • In an investor briefing, CEO Rachmat Kaimuddin said the startup’s business is focused on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). He added that around 30% of Indonesia’s e-commerce transactions were estimated to have occurred in second-tier cities last year, but that share is seen rising to 48% by 2025.
  • Rachmat also shared that over 60% of the IPO proceeds will be used to invest in the business, which had revenue of US$95.8 million in 2020 and more than 100 million users. The rest will be used to expand Bukalapak subsidiaries.
  • According to the article, Bukalapak will be the first tech unicorn to launch an IPO in Indonesia. It is set to make its market debut on 6th August.
  • Read the full story on Reuters here.
Credit: Financial Times

A super app-etite for growth

  • 500-backed Grab’s CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan spoke to Bloomberg about the super app’s growth in the region.
  • “The challenge of Grab becoming a public company is to prove the market opportunity in Southeast Asia,” he said, adding that it is a lesser-known region than China or India. But he believes that the market opportunity lies in the 660 million people living in the region — a population bigger than the U.S. At the same time, services such as food delivery, ride-hailing, and digital banking are still relatively new in the market.
  • When compared to similar startups such as DiDi or Uber, Anthony said that Grab is first and foremost a super app. He believes the concept works in Southeast Asia, where the population is young and mobile-first. He added that urban cities in the region are dense, making it cost-efficient to deliver goods and services.
  • “By having a regional footprint, it is key to sustainability and resilience in our business,” he concluded. Anthony shared that Grab operates in eight countries in Southeast Asia, and not one contributes more than 35% of its revenues.
  • Watch the full interview on Bloomberg here.
Credit: Generation T

A healthy alternative

  • Azran Osman-Rani, CEO and co-founder of 500-backed Naluri, appeared on a tech show to share what’s next for the startup in Malaysia and the region after raising US$5 million in a Series A round.
  • Azran shared that Naluri’s mission is to build a field of digital therapeutics in Southeast Asia. This means building software that either supplements or substitutes traditional therapy. The startup focuses on metabolic conditions such as obesity and diabetes as well as mental health such as depression, anxiety, and stress.
  • According to Azran, Naluri’s goal is to get both the medical and insurance industries to accept these services as a viable alternative, and become a standard reimbursable claim.
  • He shared that the capital raised goes to clinical research in Europe to build evidence for the app’s efficacy. Why Europe? Azran said, “There aren’t any standards for digital therapeutics in Southeast Asia… We want to be able to shape regulatory standards and have discussions with the health authorities in Southeast Asia, and it’s better to have a reference point.”
  • Watch the full interview here.

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500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. In Southeast Asia, 500 Startups invests through the pioneering 500 Southeast Asia family of funds. The 500 Southeast Asia funds have backed over 240 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology. It continues to connect founders with capital, expertise and powerful regional and global networks to help them succeed.

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500 Southeast Asia Team