Indonesia’s fifth unicorn startup is OVO
Earlier this year, former OVO Director Johnny Widodo (now CEO of BeliMobilGue) stated in an interview with CNBC Indonesia that the digital payments platform has become one of the startups with more than US$1 billion valuations a title commonly known as a unicorn. The narrative seemed to get toned down a bit as Indonesia continued to be known to have four unicorn startups: gojek, Tokopedia, Traveloka, and Bukalapak.
However, Finance Asia in its report last week cited a source that claimed OVO to have reached unicorn status through its latest funding round at US$2.9 billion valuations. A number that might have become obsolete today.
Commenting on the report, our source at OVO did not deny that the company which has Lippo Group, Tokyo Century Corp, Grab, and Tokopedia has reached unicorn status.
The 2018 Startup Report that DSResearch team has launched placed OVO as one of the candidates for unicorn status, amongst startups with more than US$100 million valuations.
Leading the Indonesian digital payments sphere with GoPay, it is obvious that the company is facilitating a massive amount of cash transactions in its platform, which might reach trillions of Rupiah each year. The fact that OVO has been chosen to become a primary online payments option on Tokopedia has helped push the average usage of the platform for each user.
Last week, a report has also circulated about the potential acquisition and merger between OVO and Dana, as part of the effort to defeat the domination of gojek in Indonesian digital payments sphere.
Certainly, having a unicorn status does not mean that it is the end of the road for a startup. Report of a recent layoff at Bukalapak, as part of its effort to balance between growth and profitability, proves that it is never as easy as it seems.