• Ecommerce firm Bukalapak sets up team to explore acquisitions
  • Company wants to connect millions of SME entrepreneurs: Zaky

PT Bukalapak.com became a billion-dollar startup by focusing on the Indonesian farmers and small-time merchants that bigger rivals such as PT Tokopedia neglected. Now it wants to buy its way onto their turf.

Bukalapak, which earned unicorn status with funding from 500 Startups among others, has set up a mergers and acquisition team to identify startups that will help it achieve an ambition of serving 10 million people by 2025. That’s triple its current 3 million members drawn from across the archipelago, Chief Executive Officer Achmad Zaky said.

Indonesia and its 260 million people have emerged as a coveted market for the world’s top e-commerce players, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and JD.com Inc. Bukalapak, which means “open stall,” is one of just a handful of unicorns which’ve sprung up in Southeast Asia’s largest economy alongside booming smartphone penetration. In the eight years since its founding, it’s become something of a bazaar for shoppers seeking bargains and used items in quantities not often found on Tokopedia, the online mall that’s backed by Alibaba.