SoftBank, Alibaba Lead $1.1B In Indonesian E-Commerce

|
Includes: AN, BABA, CVNA, GRAB, GS, PYPL, QCOM, SFTBF, SFTBY, SSNLF, SSNNF
by: VCDeals

Welcome to Seeking Alpha’s Venture Capital Deals of the Week. Follow this account and turn on the e-mail alert to receive VCDeals in your inbox on Saturday mornings.

Indonesia's Taobao: SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCPK:SFTBY) Vision Fund and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) led a $1.1B round in Indonesian e-commerce startup Tokopedia with a reported valuation of around $7B. Alibaba led a $1.1B round last year into Tokopedia and SoftBank was also an existing investor, using the new round as a chance to shift the investment into the Vision Fund.
Tokopedia is Indonesia’s largest online marketplace and delivers to around 93% of Indonesian districts. The startup says it recently hit 4M merchants and has quadrupled it sales in the past year. The company will use the new capital to develop its tech to enable more small retailers to come onto the platform and for developing consumer financial services and products.

Competitors: Tokopedia is frequently compared to Alibaba’s Chinese e-commerce giant Taobao. Alibaba also owns Lazada, the most prominent e-commerce playroom in SE Asia.
Fermentation engineering: SoftBank Vision Fund led a $400M Series C in molecular tech startup Zymergen. Goldman Sachs, True Ventures, and DFJ were among the other participants.
Zymergen uses advanced computing to engineer microbes to speed up the fermentation process for customers in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to electronics to agriculture. Zymergen’s client list and number and developed products aren’t disclosed, but the financing served as a nod to the company’s progress.
Competitors: Ginkgo Bioworks ($430M in total funding with Bill Gates as a backer).
Financial app software: Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) joined a $250M Series C funding for financial services programming platform Plaid at a $2.65B valuation. Mary Meeker’s Kleiner Perkins Growth led (Meeker will also join the board) with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, NEA, and Spark Capital. Plaid last raised $44M at a $225M valuation.
Plaid provides software to help businesses create financial services applications and that tech powers platforms that include Venmo, Citigroup, and Coinbase. Plaid has integrated with 10K banks in the U.S. and Canada. The new funds will go towards continued expansion of the team, which now totals 175.
More to Grab: Ride-hail company Grab (GRAB) received $150M towards its Series H from Yamaha Motors. As part of the deal, Yamaha and Grab will collaborate on motorbikes in Indonesia. The duo will work out flexible financial aid for potential Grab workers wanting a bike and Yamaha could use Grab’s customer and driver base for input on future designs.
Grab has a Series H goal of $3B and has already reported strategic investments from Toyota ($1B), Microsoft (undisclosed), and travel site Booking ($200M). The investments have come with market-expanding tie-ups. Yamaha’s will help Grab compete in Indonesia against giant Go-Jek.
More Vroom: AutoNation (NYSE:AN) led a $146M Series G round in used car e-commerce startup Vroom. T. Rowe Price, General Catalyst, L Catterton, and Fraser McCombs Capital also participated. No new valuation was provided, but Vroom was valued at $440M in 2016.
Vroom’s platform offers purchases and sales of pre-owned cars that the company refurbishes to include in the catalog, which includes over 3,200 vehicles. Vroom can help a buyer with financial support through lending partners like CapitalOne and Ally. The startup says it has sold 250K cars.
The new funding comes after a bump in the road. Vroom laid off 30% of its staff earlier this year after a failed attempt at a brick-and-mortar dealership.
Competitors: Carvana (NYSE:CVNA) and startup Auto1, which has raised over $1B with SoftBank Vision Fund among its backers.
Korean payment app: Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Ventures and PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) stepped into an $80M round for Korean payment app startup Viva Republica at a $1.2B valuation, which created the region’s fourth unicorn. Kleiner Perkins and Ribbit Capital led with participation from the likes of Altos Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, and KTB Network.
Viva Republica’s Toss app was developed in 2015 to streamline the often complicated online payment system in Korea, which has high smartphone generation and credit card usage rates. Viva says Toss now has 10M registered users and is on track to reach an $18B run-rate for transactions this year.
Competitors: It’s a crowded field that includes messaging platform Kakao’s offering, which counts Alibaba’s Ant Financial among its backers.
Deal watch: Samsung (OTC:SSNNF, OTC:SSNLF) is expected to participate in a $200M Series C for Pokémon Go creator Niantic at a $3.9B valuation. IVP could lead with assistance from aXiomatic Gaming. The round would bring total funding to $425M.
Niantic started within Google but spun out in 2015, a year before its first hit game. Additional titles include the Ingress games and the forthcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Competition: Other AR-based mobile games built on established universes finally made it to market this past summer including Jurassic World Alive from Ludia and The Walking Dead: Our World by Next Games, But Niantic remains dominant in the space.
Fund watch: JMI Equity’s Fund IX closed with $1.2B in committed capital and will focus on software companies. The fund will make investments of $15M to over $100M. Previous JMI Equity investments include Adaptive Insights and ServiceNow.

Editor's Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.