Microsoft-Backed Bukalapak Considers U.S. Listing Via SPAC

Bukalapak.com, an Indonesian e-commerce company backed by Microsoft Corp., is weighing a U.S. listing via a special purpose acquisition company, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company is working with investment banks on the plan and is in preliminary talks with several blank-check companies, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Bukalapak could be valued at $4 billion to $5 billion in a potential SPAC merger, the people said. The startup could consider listing a small part of its business in Jakarta before doing a U.S. SPAC deal, they added.

Deliberations are preliminary and no final decision has been made, the people said. A representative for Bukalapak declined to comment.

Bukalapak, which means “open a stall” in Bahasa Indonesia, is an online marketplace that sells products from grapes and shoes to cars and televisions. Founded in 2010, the startup’s platform hosts 13.5 million online sellers and 100 million users.

In November last year, Microsoft formed a strategic partnership with the Indonesian firm and made an investment as part of the deal. Other investors in Bukalapak include Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co., Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte, Naver Corp. and Standard Chartered Plc. Bukalapak is valued at $3.5 billion, according to CB Insights.

The coronavirus pandemic has boosted demand for e-commerce in the world’s fourth most populous country, where Bukalapak competes with rivals such as SoftBank Group Corp.-backed Tokopedia, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Lazada Group and Shopee, a unit of Singapore-based Sea Ltd.

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