June 19, 2020 / 12:54 PM / 20 days ago

Founder of Indonesia's Bukalapak to head Telkom's digital business

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Indonesian e-commerce startup Bukalapak said that its co-founder and president Fajrin Rasyid 34 has stepped down to become the head of digital business at state-owned PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk, (Telkom) (TLKM.JK).

The move, requested by State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, is part of the former businessman’s strategy to make the country’s telecoms giant more profitable and reduce its dependence on mobile services.

However, it leaves Bukalapak without anyone from its founding team, after co-founder and chief executive Achmad Zaky stepped down in January.

Bukalapak, valued at more than $2.5 billion during its last fundraising round in October, is backed by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd GIC.UL, China’s Ant Financial ANTFIN.UL, and Korea’s Shinhan Financial Group Co Ltd (055550.KS). [L3N26P106]

The company says it has served 92 million users in Indonesia’s fast-growing e-commerce market, which has attracted foreign investors due to surging smartphone use and rising middle class income. But it is trailing Softbank-backed Indonesian company Tokopedia and Tencent-backed regional rival SEA (SE.N).

Reporting by Fanny Potkin, editing by Louise Heavens

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