Tendency, a Turkey-based e-commerce platform, raised $ 1.5 billion in a massive funding round that values the company at $ 16.5 billion. General Atlantic, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Princeville Capital and sovereign wealth funds, ADQ (UAE) and Qatar Investment Authority co-led the cycle.
The deal is SoftBank’s first in the country.
The new funding also makes Trendyol Turkey’s premier decacorn and one of Europe’s most valued private tech companies. It comes just months after strategic – and majority – support from Alibaba invested $ 350 million in the company at a valuation of $ 9.4 billion.
Founded in 2010, Trendyol is Turkey’s largest e-commerce company, serving over 30 million shoppers and delivering over one million packages per day. It claims to have gone from a marketplace to a ‘superapp’ by combining its marketplace platform (which is powered by Trendyol Express, its own last mile delivery solution) with instant grocery and food delivery through its own messaging network (Trendyol Go), its wallet (Trendyol Pay), consumer-to-consumer channel (Dolap) and other services.
Trendyol founder Demet Suzan Mutlu said the new capital will go towards expansion in Turkey and around the world. Specifically, the company plans to continue investing in nationwide infrastructure, technology and logistics and accelerating the digitization of Turkish SMEs. She said the company was founded to create a positive impact and that she intends to continue this mission.
Evren Ucok, president of Trendyol, added that part of the company’s goal is to create new export channels for Turkish traders and manufacturers.
Melis Kahya Akar, managing director and consumer manager for EMEA at General Atlantic, said Trendyol’s market model – ranging from grocery delivery to mobile wallets – “brings convenience and ease to consumers” in Turkey and to abroad.
“Turkey is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and boasts an attractive demographics, with a young population that is very active online,” General Atlantic’s Kahya Akar wrote via email. “We expect its already large e-commerce market – $ 17 billion in 2020 – to continue to grow significantly through increasing online penetration. We believe Trendyol is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of consumers in Turkey and around the world as the business grows.
A 2020 JPMorgan report found that E-commerce only made up 5.3% of the Turkish retail market at the time, but Turkish e-commerce had seen impressive increases in revenue in recent years: 2018 alone saw the market jump 42%, followed by 31% in 2019. As in 2020, 67% of the Turkish population shopped online.