Jakarta. Tokopedia, one of Indonesia's largest e-commerce platforms, secured on Thursday (17/08) $1.1 billion in investment from a consortium led by China's e-commerce giant Alibaba — which has now become a minority shareholder in Tokopedia.
Tokopedia plans to use the money to build a larger research center in Indonesia as part of an expansion drive into Southeast Asia.
"We've selected a world-class investor who can raise Tokopedia's profile in the world stage," chief executive and founder Wiliam Tanuwijaya said in a statement.
He said Tokopedia will mold its expansion after Alibaba's model, with the ultimate goal of building a global marketplace.
William also said he believes Alibaba's influence will help Tokopedia in its mission to usher in economic equality in Indonesia using the digital platform.
"We will bring in the best talents in the world, bring Indonesia's best sons and daughters back to the country to build Tokopedia, help more than 2 million merchants grow and create millions of new jobs," William said.
The Alibaba-led capital injection was the second high-profile investment in Tokopedia as it strives to dominate the fast-growing e-commerce market in Indonesia.
In 2014, Tokopedia also obtained $100 million in investment from Japan's SoftBank Internet and Media and Sequioa Capital.
William, however, insisted he will resume control of Tokopedia and that he will resist attempts to sell the e-commerce site to other companies.
"We've had an offer, yes," William said when asked about rumors of an attempted takeover by China's e-commerce site JD.com.
"But that never occurred to me [to sell], because it was not our mission to build a company just to sell it later," William said.
For Alibaba, this investment will earn it a greater exposure in Indonesia e-commerce economy, which is expected to grow to $46 billion by 2025 from just $1.7 billion a decade earlier, according to projections by Google and Temasek.
In June, Alibaba also doubled its investment in Lazada Group, which operates the largest e-commerce site in Indonesia at the moment, by forking out an extra $1 billion.