Founder & CEO of Bukalapak, Achmad Zaky shared his journey to become a unicorn startup reaching $1 billion in valuation. “As a unicorn, we need a lot of capital in a short period of time to stay competitive. Burning 100 billion rupiah per month is still OK, but not more. Right now, we are more onto optimizing for ownership,” told the ITB graduate during his lecture at the MBA program in Jakarta (21/9/2019).
“Tell us the first strategy of Bukalapak?,“ shoot one of the students. “To find crazy investor. My first proposal was only 100 million rupiah but not a single investor was interested. Then, I met this Japanese investor who believed that Bukalapak can be the Indonesian version of Rakuten,” said the CEO who claimed Bukalapak had generated $ 5 billion of GMV.
The important aspects seen by the investor, he continued, were the mentality of the founder and business model presented. “And they are ready to gamble. From 10 investments that they put their money in, only Bukalapak who succeed,” said Zaky followed by students’ applause.
Bukalapak is now the country’s fourth unicorn startup after ride-hailing app Go-Jek, online booking platform Traveloka, and e-commerce platform Tokopedia. Despite of the turnover issues, Zaky convinced that Bukalapak was in a good shape.