The race to make it to the most valuable companies' list continues between the new generation technology firms and the giants of the old generation economy. The list has mostly been overtaken by online retail startups.
Trendyol has become Turkey’s first “decacorn” – a startup worth over $10 billion (TL 85.45 billion) – following the e-commerce giant’s successful investment round this week.
Rapid grocery delivery pioneer Getir ranks second. Currently worth around $7.5 billion, Getir has started using its unique retail model all over the world.
Startups such as Trendyol, Getir, Hepsiburada and Dream Games, which force the retail industry to change based on data, all stand out with their distinctive financing and investment models.
In addition to e-commerce platforms, Turkish game developers have also turned into successful giant technology startups in the data-driven entertainment economy.
Moreover, those who made successful exit deals here continue to invest in the gaming ecosystem in Turkey. And the country keeps on launching new billion-dollar startups in the gaming ecosystem. After the Peak, which changed everything in the Turkish startup ecosystem, Rollic also proved that great valuations could be achieved in less than two years after successful exit deals.
This was further proven by another game developer, Dream Games, which reached a billion-dollar valuation in less than two years. It was also among Turkey’s data-driven mobile gaming startups.
Not only technology startups but also older generation businesses are trying to adapt to the data-driven transformation. The retail industry was among the industries that experienced the fastest transformation. The change that started during the pandemic is likely to continue into the future.
Established in 2010, Trendyol is one of Turkey’s best-known e-commerce platforms and delivers more than 1 million packages a day to more than 30 million customers.
It continues to create value and grow rapidly with Trendyol Tech, one of Turkey’s leading research and development (R&D) centers, Trendyol Express, a rapid growing transportation network, Trendyol Go, which delivers fast grocery and food, and Dolap, a major secondhand product platform.
Trendyol this week announced it had entered into agreements to raise $1.5 billion from a number of high-profile investors.
With the funding, the valuation of the company backed by Chinese online giant Alibaba has reached $16.5 billion, making it Turkey’s first “decacorn.”
The latest round was co-led by General Atlantic, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, which invests in the world’s largest technology companies, as well as Berlin-based Princeville Capital and sovereign wealth funds, ADQ (UAE) and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).
The world's largest technology investor SoftBank Investment Advisers along with ADQ and Princeville Capital made their first investments in Turkey with this round.
With the fresh funding, investors from Asia, Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Turkey also started showing interest in Trendyol’s shareholding structure. Trendyol continues to be managed by the company’s founders and senior staff in Turkey.
Startup monitor startups.watch founder Serkan Ünsal stated that Trendyol becoming a “decacorn” is the best example of how a startup from Turkey can raise the bar.
“Now, when we talk about the Turkish startup ecosystem at events abroad, we have many examples to give. Five or six years ago, when talking about our ecosystem abroad, we could only say that our ecosystem is in its infancy but it is going very well. We couldn't comment further,” Ünsal said.
“Now we can say that we have a decacorn, that we have a lot of unicorns, that we are an important center in the game. All these will attract more foreign investors to our ecosystem. Investors will have a lot more to show about Turkish firms when raising money from abroad for their funds. We can say that the entrepreneurship ecosystem will benefit more than Trendyol from the fact that Trendyol's status as a decacorn.”
Melis Kahya Akar, managing director of General Atlantic, who led Trendyol’s funding round with SoftBank this week, said the e-commerce giant’s comprehensive marketplace model, from fast market to digital wallet, provides comfort and convenience to its customers in Turkey and around the world.
“We see great potential for Trendyol to accelerate its continued growth in the regional and global e-commerce arena. At General Atlantic, we are excited to collaborate with the Trendyol team, which, with our worldwide experience in growing innovative business models, fulfills their mission of creating a positive impact while providing seamless e-commerce experiences to customers and vendors,” Akar said.
Anthony Doeh, managing partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers, on the other hand, said, Trendyol has successfully integrated its e-commerce, payment systems and delivery capabilities with its expertise in industries such as fashion.
“Thus, they laid the foundation for a unique consumer experience with high growth potential in new markets. As a company that has invested in many e-commerce platforms around the world, we are very happy to cooperate with Trendyol. We look forward to supporting this journey of Trendyol, one of the emerging digital leaders of EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa),” Doeh noted.
“Successful company managements establish very valuable technology companies,” said managing partner at Princeville Capital, Emmanuel DeSousa. “As an investor of the leading e-commerce companies in the world, especially in the EMEA region, we collaborate with the competent Trendyol team to implement the company's vision in Turkey and the EMEA region. We are excited to collaborate.”
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