Bukalapak bounces back from IPO dud with Aussie technology hub

technology hub Bukalapak
Image by bangoland | Bigstockphoto

Bukalapak, one of the largest e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia by total orders and transactions, is setting up its first-ever international Technology Hub in Melbourne, amid news of its recent IPO flopping.

The Technology Hub will be Bukalapak’s first such hub outside Indonesia and will focus on big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence.

“Melbourne’s tech ecosystem is an ideal base for Bukalapak to establish this technology hub,” says Teddy Oetomo, Bukalapak President. He believes that Melbourne’s conducive business climate allows Indonesia’s tech talent to collaborate with Australian and worldwide tech talent.

Bukalapak is Indonesia’s first listed tech unicorn and the biggest listing to date, having gone public in mid-2021 with a valuation of around $6 billion, after raising $1.5 billion. It is also Southeast Asia’s fourth-largest e-commerce platform by visitors, with nearly 5 million merchants, who together serve more than 100 million users across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, among others.

However, right after the company’s much-celebrated IPO, shares began to plunge rapidly until Bukalapak lost more than half its value by mid-January this year. This, however, has not deterred the company from sealing major deals and investments.

DealStreetAsia announced earlier this month that Bukalapak is establishing an R&D center in Melbourne as part of the company’s efforts to access the global talent pool. The company’s Technology Hub was officially announced this week by Austrade, who will provide support for Bukalapak in the form of industry capability updates, information on tax and investment incentives, introductions to service providers, and collaboration with state governments.

Investors to Bukalapak will also receive stakeholder introductions, information on the Australian business and regulatory environment, market intelligence and investment opportunities, and information about grants and investment incentives.

With this technology hub, Bukalapak wants to create 65 full-time roles over the next five years. A team of senior-level engineers will focus on analytics, AI, and other R&D efforts at the facility. Local universities are being researched as potential partners by Bukalapak.

Before this move by Bukalapak, Singaporean IT service provider NCS Next launched a new physical center in Melbourne eight months after first entering the Australian market. The facility, dubbed the ‘Cloud Centre of Excellence’, promises to give governments and businesses additional assistance in accelerating their cloud initiatives.

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