Founder & CEO of Bukalapak, Achmad Zaky shared his journey to establish 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,” the ITB graduate stated during his lecture at the MBA program in Jakarta (21/9/2019).
“Tell us the first strategy of Bukalapak?,“ asked one of the students. “To find crazy investors. 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.
Important aspects seen by the investors, 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 the 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 the turnover issue, Zaky convinced that Bukalapak was still in a good shape.