A stellar debut
- 500-backed e-commerce startup Bukalapak’s shares surged 25% on its market debut after raising US$1.5 billion in Indonesia’s biggest IPO (Initial Public Offering). Its shares closed at US$0.0738 after reaching the 25% limit minutes after opening.
- According to Reuters, Bukalapak’s debut has vaulted its market value to US$7.5 billion, placing it among Indonesia’s 15 biggest companies.
- In 2020, the startup reported a 26% revenue increase to US$96 million, up 26% on the year. It recorded 105 million registered users.
- President Teddy Oetomo said to Bloomberg, “We are currently tracking well in our path to profitability,” adding that Bukalapak expects to turn profitable within three years.
- Read the full story on Bloomberg here.
Building a better world
- Ee Ling Lim, Head of APAC Business Development at 500 Startups, shared in an interview how the pandemic has served as a catalyst for companies in the region to accelerate their ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) initiatives.
- According to Ee Ling, the pandemic exposed significant vulnerabilities in traditional business models and organizational structures.
- “Companies with strong ESG practices were shown to have outperformed in the same period,” she said, adding that tech companies in Southeast Asia where women comprised more than a fifth of management generated 10% higher innovation revenues than those without.
- She revealed that a trend unique to Southeast Asia is that the pandemic has drawn more attention to the ‘E’ (environmental) part of ESG. This has resulted in more innovative solutions led by startups such as the 500-backed super app Grab, which recently announced its transport sustainability goal.
- Read the full interview on TechNode Global here.
Backing for banking
- 500-backed fintech startup Friz is one of 10 startups selected for Southeast Asia-focused accelerator Iterative’s third batch of companies for Summer 2021. The 10 companies were selected from over 330 applications.
- Iterative’s main criterion is leadership by exceptional founders. For this batch, the accelerator is supporting new emerging trends amid the pandemic.
- According to the accelerator, 88 million freelancers (65% of the total) in Asia are earning incomes above the median. This demographic has been growing 17% annually, yet traditional banks often reject them for loans and credit cards.
- The startup is led by CEO Nirali Zaveri and CTO Ash Rhazaly, both from fintech backgrounds.
- Read more on Iterative’s blog here.