A boost of confidence in Asia’s tech sector

SoftBank’s Vision Fund has led a $1.1 billion funding round for Indonesian ecommerce site Tokopedia in a move that underscores the Japanese group’s growing presence in Asia’s tech scene. The deal comes just months after SoftBank took a leading role in the $3 billion raised by ByteDance, valuing the Chinese news feed and video company at $75 billion… The moves are seen as a boost of confidence in Asia’s tech sector, especially after multiple Chinese tech companies, such as Xiaomi and Meituan, have disappointed investors following their initial public offerings earlier this year. Investment in start ups in China, and increasingly in south-east Asia, has long been dominated by Chinese tech titans Alibaba and Tencent. SoftBank has a 29 per cent stake in Alibaba, and the two have co-invested in a number of companies, including China’s ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing and Paytm, the Indian ecommerce group. In the case of Tokopedia, the Vision Fund joined Alibaba to lead the $1.1 billion funding round, which reportedly valued the company at more than $7 billion. Like Alibaba, Tokopedia has expanded beyond ecommerce to offer other services such as online payments.

Louise Lucas and Nian Liu