Bukalapak, Tokopedia Prep to Halt 'Cash-burning' Strategy



Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Several e-commerce companies are starting to seek profits or at least reach a break-even point soon. This is done after the firm applied a "cash-burning" strategy to attract consumers by providing subsidies, discounts, or other promotions.

    Corporate Communication Head of Bukalapak, Intan Wibisono, said that her company was determined to be the first profitable unicorn.

    "With the good business performance and sufficient capital, we target to achieve a break-even point (BEP) and even profit in the near future," Intan told Tempo, Monday, Oct. 28.

    She explained that Bukalapak's gross profit in this mid-year had tripled compared to that of mid-2018 so that it was able to cut halve losses from the income before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) during the past eight months. This achievement, Intan added, was in line with the company's goal to be sustainable e-commerce.

    Meanwhile, Tokopedia Vice President of Corporate Communications Nuraini Razak said her company eyed reaching BEP next year. To pursue the goal, Aini said that Tokopedia continued focus to transform into a super ecosystem.

    The strategy was carried out by creating a comprehensive infrastructure to facilitate the community through collaboration with various strategic partners in a bid to realize the equality of the digital economy.

    "We are focusing to transform all professions into technology companies through the Tokopedia ecosystem so they will always remain relevant to the changing era," Aini added.

    Albeit there was no specific target set every year, Aini said Tokopedia still collected a positive performance. As of last May, its gross merchandise value (GMV) reached US$ 1.3 billion. "Even when there is no growth every month, we are optimistic to earn US$15-16 billion [of GMV] in the next 12 months," said Aini.