BINUS International Office

Building Tokopedia in the Ecosystem of Opportunities

This image was originally posted to Flickr by yohanes budiyanto at

Tokopedia is an example of an Indonesian ecosystem propelling growth in the region. Diverse and democratic, Indonesia exhibits strong networks between social groups, ranking 15th country in the world on social capital by Legatum Prosperity Ranking. Ranked 75th for business environment (above half other ranked countries), Indonesia is a popular destination for foreign investors. These trends marry well with the entrepreneurial swing in Indonesian mindset powered by the bursting middle class looking to seize development opportunities around them. In this ecosystem, Tokopedia, startup number 1 in Indonesia and 50th in the world as ranked by Startup Rankings, ranking importance of businesses on the internet and their social influence, was born.

Tokopedia was co-founded in 2009 by William Tanuwijaya, alumnus from BINUS UNIVERSITY majoring in Information Technology as acting CEO, and, Leontinus Alpha Edison with a degree in Information technology from Atma Jaya Yogyakarta University, as acting CTO. The two partners observed the expansion of e-commerce in the world, and thought to introduce open marketplace business model, connecting suppliers and consumers instead of selling products from their own warehouse, making it possible for small Indonesian businesses to extend their reach.

Looking back at the history of the company, this growth was made possible by the strong determination and eagerness of the co-founders to look for investors. Using a similar business model as established Alibaba and given expanding middle class, investment giants such as Softbank and Sequoia Capital saw potential in Tokopedia. Over a few years, the company became the leading internet based company in Indonesia. To keep competitive advantage, the business continuously innovates, for instance offering loan programs for merchants and new payment methods in cooperation with other popular brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Indomaret, Alfamart, 7-Eleven, Lawson, and Post Office. The company also successfully fights fraud practices. Tokopedia deletes accounts violating terms and conditions, blocks forbidden keywords, and encourages law enforcement.

All in all, using the open marketplace business model, Tokopedia has improved lives as a doorway for a greater impact by small businesses and easier establishment of new home businesses. William of BINUS UNIVERSITY and Leontinus of Atma Jaya Yogyakarta University thus reduce the unemployment rate adding to Indonesian economic growth and the growth of the middle class. They are determined for Tokopedia to become Alibaba of Indonesia.