Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com is reportedly in talks to invest in Indonesian e-commerce platform Tokopedia, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Citing various anonymous sources, the report stated that the investment is currently in early-stage negotiations.
JD plans to invest “hundreds of millions of dollars” in the online marketplace, which is said to propel the startup’s valuation past US$1 billion.
Tokopedia raised US$100 million from SoftBank Group and Sequoia Capital in 2014, a record-breaking sum that was considered, “Indonesia’s coming-of-age as a bona fide destination for technology investment.”
Later in April 2016, the company reportedly raised US$147 million from an undisclosed set of investors, but CEO William Tanuwijaya neither confirmed nor denied the report.
For JD, the investment will strengthen its ability to compete directly with rival Alibaba (which purchased controlling stake in Lazada in 2016).
Despite operating its own online marketplace and logistics company in Indonesia, JD is facing challenges in the form of Amazon’s expected entry in the Southeast Asian market. Furthermore, Lazada recent partnered with Uber and Netflix in Singapore.
While a JD spokesperson had declined to comment on the story, e27 reached out to Tokopedia to confirm the report.
More on this story as it develops.