We heard rumors earliest in May from DealStreetAsia, and now the two are finally tying the knot.
Indonesian wedding service marketplace Bridestory has been acquired by Tokopedia, the country’s largest ecommerce marketplace.
The big news was revealed with a short creative Facebook video, showing a romantic couple giving compliments to each other and ending it with the say yes moment.
Founded in 2014, Bridestory lets you plan your wedding on your smartphone.
“It all starts with a web application, then we slowly saw the change in behavior as people became more mobile-centric. We also wanted to help brides to plan their wedding anywhere and anytime with their smartphone,” said Bridestory’s CEO Kevin Mintaraga.
The startup targets the wedding market in Southeast Asia, connecting soon-to-be-wed couples with wedding venues, organizers and all the vendors and service providers that are necessary to plan the big day.
The platform hosts 28 vendor categories from the wedding venue, catering, decoration, dress, photography, and entertainment, up to honeymoon plans and other unique services such as bridesmaids’ dresses, painting, and calligraphy.
To date, the startup claims to have linked more than 3.5 million customers to over 27,000 wedding vendors every year.
But not just wedding. Bridestory clarified in a press statement that Tokopedia has acquired all assets from Bridestory including its newer Parentstory established in October 2018.
Parentstory, though similar to Bridestory, connects parents and soon-to-be parents to different age-specific activities for their children.
Hence, the acquisition will cover all assets of Bridestory and Parentstory, including intellectual property, human resources, and its physical & digital assets.
Tokopedia specified that the acquisition will not change the business strategy of Bridestory and Parentstory, the site will continue to operate independently.
However, Kevin Mintaraga will become part of Tokopedia’s management as vice president.
Doni Hanafi, Bridestory’s Co-Founder & CTO said following the collaboration, Bridestory will continue to expand its business so that it can reach more partners and wedding customers.
At the moment, Bridestory is launching Bridestorypay to facilitate offline transactions to move online so that every prospective bride facilitate better payment experience.
Indonesia’s four tech unicorns – Traveloka, Tokopedia, Bukalapak, and Go-Jek have been acquiring smaller startups for a while now.
Another recent acquisition is Go-Jek’s acquisition of Indian AI recruitment startup AirCTO.
These acquisitions are usually done for various reasons – sometimes to accelerate their entry into new verticals or to acquire teams and technologies.
For the deal between Tokopedia and Bridestory, it seems to be both.
With that, Tokopedia has officially entered into the wedding marketplace.
William Tanuwijaya, the Co-founder and CEO of Tokopedia said the company is trying to connect with startups that have new innovations and products that will disrupt the ecosystem.
“As a tech company, in the first ten years, Tokopedia has been dedicated to helping business owners become ecommerce based business. For the next ten years, Tokopedia strives to help every business in Indonesia evolve into a technology-based business.”
William added, looking at Bridestory and Parentstory, Tokopedia sees a ready ecosystem where the company has the connections of makeup artist, photographer, hotel, restaurant, as if they were a technology company.
“Through this acquisition, Tokopedia is committed to becoming a partner for these vendors to help them grow and evolve through technology, in favor to provide every bride and groom in Indonesia the best experience for one of the best moments of their lives. It is also the same with Parentstory in providing parents the best solutions and activities for their children,” said William.
Besides Bridestory, Tokopedia has invested in a number of other startups, including Sayurbox, Laku6, and AnterAja.
Although the value of the acquisition was not disclosed, it’s most likely that the fund was drawn from the US$2.5 billion funds raised from investors like Sequoia, Alibaba, and Softbank.
With this huge sum, it’s most likely the acquisition spree will continue. So, let’s stay tuned to what other acquisitions Tokopedia will make?
Filipino fast food restaurant chain Jollibee has been engaging in talks exploring a bid for Britain’s sandwich chain Pret A Manger, according to various sources familiar with the matter.
The valuation for the upscale sandwich chain may exceed US$1 billion, based on the sandwich chain’s 2016 core earnings of over 93 million pounds (about US$125 million).
This unsolicited offer for Pret A Manger was also derived to compete with its likely valuation from a potential listing of its private equity owner, Bridgepoint which was preparing for a New York listing later this year.
If the deal is successful, this would mark Jollibee’s biggest overseas deals to date and potentially one of the biggest ever outbound deals from the Philippines.
Jollibee’s most recent expansion move was in May through the acquisition of SuperFoods Group who owns and operates the brands Highland Coffee and noodle house Pho 24.
The pairing comes unlikely as Jollibee has a huge following in the Philippines for its fast food burgers, fried chicken, and sweet-style spaghetti.
On the other end, Pret A Manger with over 400 shops worldwide is famous for selling organic coffee and wholesome sandwiches to office workers in Britain and in cities like Hong Kong and New York.
At present, Jollibee operates the largest foodservice network in the Philippines with 2,700 restaurant outlets in the country – giving it a market valuation of US$5.2 billion.
The fast food chain, which outsells McDonald’s and KFC in the Philippines, has been starting to push into global markets to boost sales and profits through acquisition.
Jollibee has also been expanding across Southeast Asia, looking to appeal to lucrative local consumers as well as overseas Filipinos with coffee, donuts, and noodle offering.
Thai listed property developer JAS Asset Plc has bought over the trademark food and cafe chain Casa Lapin from Coffee Project Co Ltd for a price tag of 42 million baht (about US$1.27 million).
The company concluded the agreement earlier last month, whereby the high-end coffee house chain will enter into a new joint venture – Beans & Brown Co Ltd. – with JAS Asset having 60 percent ownership while 40 percent is held by Coffee Project.
In other words, three of Casa Lapin current seven branches in Bangkok will belong to Beans and Brown while the remaining four will be jointly operated by the company and its partners on a revenue-sharing basis.
Additionally, Beans and Browns plans to open three more Casa Lapins in the central business districts this year and at least another 10 in 2018 including its first flagship store at a premium shopping complex in the heart of Bangkok which will cover at least 200 square meters.
“Coffee Project was very successful in building the Casa Lapin brand,” said Suphot Wanna, the Chief Executive Officer of JAS Asset Plc. “It is clearly different from other cafe franchises.”
“Casa Lapin is famous for its quality coffee beans, as well as neat coffee-making, and attention to every step from roasting to brewing and other stages of preparation.”
Moving forward, Casa Lapin is looking to expand its presence to Asian cities in the region such as Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei and Singapore.
But ultimately, this move for JAS Asset is aimed at diversifying JAS Asset’s portfolio and springboard the firm to enter the food and cafe market that it has long expressed interest.
“We target our revenue will grow from 60 million baht this year to 180 million baht ($5.4 million) in 2018 and 360 million baht ($10.87 million) in 2020 and get it listed on the stock market in the same year,” Suphot said.
At present, 70 per cent of Casa Lapin’s revenue comes from coffee and beverage sales and the rest comes from food and bakery. It plans to generate more revenue from selling souvenirs in the future.
Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek is set to acquire a 30 percent stake in Italian fashion retailer Stone Island, according to its parent firm Sportswear Company S.p.A.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but it is understood that the capital will help the men’s sportswear brand to expand its reach internationally.
“I am truly satisfied for this partnership with one of the world’s most established investment companies,” said the Sportswear Company’s founder Carlo Rivetti. “I particularly appreciate Temasek’s investment strategy to participate in companies with strong growth potential, know-hows, and identity.”
For Temasek, this comes at a time when its divestment is outpacing its investment. Increasingly, the firm is under pressure for higher investment returns which has led it to make larger bets and adding more unlisted stocks to its portfolio.
However, this is not the first fashion investment for the company. Last year, Temasek has participated in the US$110 million Series F funding round for Farfetch, as well as acquired a 26.8 percent stake in Italian fashion firm Moncler.
Founded in 1982 by Massimo Osti, Stone Island’s famous jackets were the result of an experiment of creating the fabric for military jackets. The company was acquired in 1983 by Rivetti’s family firm GFT which was one of the largest apparel manufacturers in Italy.
It later became Sportswear Company and developed its brand Stone Island to become a mixture of technical wear, high-fashion, and streetwear. The company even has collaborations with Supreme and Nike, as well as stockists like Kith.
Meanwhile, the company reports revenues for 2016 to be €109 million (about US$129 million ), that is a 26 percent increase compared to last year at €87 million (about US$97 million)
With this acquisition, Temasek agrees to guarantee the continuity and the autonomy of the Stone Island management team, which according to Rivetti is essential to successfully face and overcome the challenges for the fashion sectors.
“I wanted to both capitalize on the work done in 35 years and to team with a partner to face the increasingly complex opportunities proposed by the markets,” Rivetti explained.
“I am confident that the brand Stone Island will keep on with increased success its development, being able to count on a competent and attentive partner to the specifics of our business and with strong international relations,” he added.
Philippine’s homegrown fast food giant Jollibee Foods Corp (JFC) said on Thursday that its subsidiary JSF Investments Pte. Ltd has hiked its stakes in SuperFoods Group to 60 percent.
The 10 percent increase from its previous 50-50 ownership share comes from its partner in the joint venture, Viet Thai International Joint Stock Co. (VTI).
This move lies in line with the agreement dated back on November 18, 2016, which will allow JFC to include the joint venture in its financial consolidation and in turn facilitate the listing of SuperFoods Group on Vietnam’s equities market by July 2019.
“To help fund the SuperFoods’ expansion plans, Jollibee Foods Corporation will henceforth take the lead in the capital raising activities of the joint venture and will work with various financial institutions in Vietnam and other parts of Asia in this undertaking,” Jollibee said in a statement.
SuperFoods is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jollibee’s JSF Investments Pte Ltd (JSF), and Viet Thai International Joint Stock Co. (VTI) with most of its businesses in Vietnam.
The SuperFoods Group owns and operates the brands Highlands Coffee and Vietnamese noodle house Pho 24, as well as the Hard Rock Cafe franchise shops in Vietnam, Macau, and Hong Kong. At the end of March, these three brands amount for a total of 216 stores with its presence across 17 countries outside the Philippines, including Indonesia, Cambodia, and Australia.
In the next three years, the SuperFoods Group plans to open another 485 stores, mostly in Vietnam, while expanding the brands through franchising in other parts of Asia and in Australia. The company also plans to enter Malaysia as part of its expansion in Southeast Asia.
JFC plans to build a significant business in Vietnam given its potential to become a large consumer market. Like the Philippines, Vietnam has a high population at 95 million and has enjoyed robust economic growth, which reached a 6.2 percent growth last year.
The SuperFoods joint venture is one of its fastest-growing businesses, with its sales reaching US$58 million in 2016, that is up to 46 percent from the prior year, driven by the 73 percent expansion of the Highlands Coffee.
JFC operates the largest foodservice network in the Philippines. At the end of March, it had 2,684 restaurant outlets under the brands Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Burger King, and Mang Inasal. Abroad, it operated 620 restaurants including the brands Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, and Dunkin’ Donuts.
JFC maintains interest in joint ventures operating 611 stores worldwide. Aside from its interest in SuperFoods, it also has 40 percent ownership of US chain Smashburger and 48 percent of 12 Hotpot.
By Vivian Foo, VCNewsNetwork