Indonesia has four unicorns – a term that refers to startup companies that are valued over USD $1 billion – namely: (1) ride-hailing and logistics company Go-Jek, (2) e-commerce operator Tokopedia, (3) e-commerce operator Bukalapak, and (4) airline ticketing and hotel booking services Traveloka.
These four successful startups have two interest things in common. Firstly, their business is dependent on the Internet as these startups connect the consumer and supplier of services or goods through an online application or website. The fact that all of Indonesia’s unicorns are highly dependent on the Internet is prove of the magnitude of Indonesia’s Internet economy. This Internet economy is thriving robustly in Indonesia - Southeast Asia’s largest economy - on the back of expanding Internet and smartphone penetration, the availability of affordable mobile Internet, and improvements in connectivity.
Secondly, these startups have all expanded beyond their (original) core business. For example, initially, Go-Jek only provided ride-hailing services by connecting passengers and local drivers. As the company grew, it added various on-demand services and payment services. Similarly, Tokopedia moved beyond its central business, extending into payments, including mobile top-up and financial services as part of its strategy to become a super app.
This articles discusses:
• the promising digital economy of Southeast Asia and in particular Indonesia
• Indonesian e-commerce giant Tokopedia
• Tokopedia's future business plans, including the "new retail" concept
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