Google Invests in an Online Shopping Platform
It’s being reported that Google and another company have agreed to invest $350 million dollars in a popular Indonesian online shopping platform named Tokopedia. Tokopedia is a major online marketplace in Indonesia that is reported to contribute over 1% of Indonesia’s economic growth.
Google did not purchase the shopping platform, it’s just an investment that adds to the billions of dollars already invested by SoftBank and Alibaba.
Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital also has an investment in Tokopedia. Sequoia Capital was an early investor in many important companies like Apple, Google, Oracle, Nvidia, Yahoo, and PayPal.
Tokopedia is an online shopping platform that helps 7 million merchants in Indonesia sell goods to over 90 million consumers per month. The word Toko is Indonesian for “shop.”
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Tokopedia also offers financial products like digital wallets and loans.
According to Wikipedia:
“The marketplace is Tokopedia’s best-known product. Tokopedia provides a free C2C business platform for merchants and buyers. The marketplace helps merchants reach more audience than other channels. There are also official stores for well-known brands to do their B2C business.
In 2016, Tokopedia offered financial technology (FinTech) products that include digital wallets, investments, business capital loans, virtual credit cards, protection products, credit scoring based on data for a loan, and many more. In 2018, Tokopedia launched Mitra Tokopedia application to sell these FinTech products.”
Ecommerce is predicted to become a $65 billion dollar category in 2022.
Tokopedia is already a user of Google Cloud for improving the product pick-up and delivery part of its service. So there’s already a relationship between the two companies.
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“Tokopedia uses the Geolocation API to determine the exact location of the user. If the customer allows location sharing with Tokopedia, the app picks up their current position by dropping an address pin along with the address on Google Maps. The customer then validates the displayed address with their location.”
Tokopedia is planning in the future to use that location data for localized marketing promotions.
According to a report in Bloomberg News:
“Google and Temasek Holdings Pte have agreed to invest about $350 million in PT Tokopedia, people familiar with the matter said, a major cash infusion that will bankroll the Indonesian online mall’s post-Covid-19 expansion.”
Google hasn’t commented on the investment or explained what the end goal is for their investment.
This probably won’t be heavily reported and fly unnoticed but it is important to know about it because it may signal Google’s ambition for the future.
It’s somewhat of a different kind of investment for Google because it goes beyond the data, advertising, search and analytics products Google is known for.
Does it represent a step toward competing in the future as an online marketplace?