2016.04.07.1

Indonesian e-commerce platform Blanja is set to receive IDR330 billion (US$25 million) of funding this year from state-owned multimedia investment holding company TelkomMetra and Internet giant eBay.

A joint venture between the two companies, Blanja will receive US$15 million (about 60 per cent of total investment) from TelkomMetra and another US$10 million from eBay.

The company plans to use the funding to ‘offer more options and benefits to customers’ though it does not go into more details.

Despite having launched in 2013, Blanja only displayed stronger focus on user acquisition recently.

“Yesterday we were less aggressive as we felt that the industry is not ready yet, the system is not ready. Now we see that the industry has grown, and we spent bigger for that,” said TelkomMetra President Director Teguh Wahyono as quoted by Republika.

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Blanja is confident with its ability to compete with other e-commerce platforms as it is able to rely on Telkomsel – state-owned mobile operator – subscribers.

“Since Telkom owns Telkomsel, it should be easier to acquire 150 million users … Since Telkom already has its own distribution channels then it should be easier,” said Wahyono.

In January, eBay announced that it is planning to set up an office in Indonesia, a move that was seen by many as its official entrance into the market.

Previously, its presence in the country was made known through its partnership with TelkomMetra to set up Blanja.

But Indonesian government’s announcement on foreign ownership in local e-commerce startups has opened doors for more global players to do business in Indonesia.