Indonesian startup J&T raising over $2 billion ahead of IPO -sources

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Indonesian courier startup J&T Express is in talks with investors to raise more than $2 billion ahead of a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO), and is looking to expand in Latin America, three people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: A Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEX) sign is seen at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, China September 4, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Photo

The logistics firm is seeking to hit a $20 billion valuation with the $2-2.5 billion fundraising round that is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks, and attract Tencent Holdings among other investors, the sources said.

Existing J&T investors Boyu Capital, Hillhouse and Sequoia Capital China are also looking to join the round, which will more than double the company’s valuation from a previous round that closed in April.

J&T at the time raised $1.8 billion, led by Boyu and joined by Sequoia and Hillhouse at a post-money valuation of $7.8 billion, said one of the three and a separate source.

J&T and Hillhouse did not answer requests for comment. Tencent, Sequoia and Boyu declined to comment.

The courier company plans to list in Hong Kong next year, said the sources, who declined to be named as the information is confidential.

J&T was launched in 2015 in Indonesia by two senior executives of Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo, who used their experience in distribution to build up a massive logistics network across Southeast Asia targeting the region’s booming e-commerce players.

The company entered China in 2020, and competes with local rivals such as S.F. Holding, ZTO Express and the in-house logistics networks of e-commerce giants Alibaba Group and JD.com.

Two of the sources said that J&T, whose business was buoyed by a pandemic-induced home delivery boom, is now preparing to launch in Latin America, where Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Shopee, a top client, has quickly expanded since its foray two years ago.

Analysts say J&T’s experience in serving smaller cities in Southeast Asia and China should help it grow in Latin America and serve both existing clients like Shopee and Chinese companies seeking broader global exposure.

“J&T is building a UPS/DHL-like global infrastructure which is catered towards booming e-commerce,” advisory firm Momentum Works’ Chief Executive Officer Jianggan Li said.

“The fact that they first proved their business in Southeast Asia gives them a key advantage over Chinese companies in managing cross cultural organisation and operations effectively.”

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