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Jakarta Post

No more ‘burning money’: Calls grow for more rational tech valuation as VCs eye Indonesian start-ups

  • Adrian Wail Akhlas and Riza Roidila Mufti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 15, 2019   /  01:41 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Young people use various gadgets to access digital platforms.(Shutterstock/File)

Venture capitalists are looking to fund more early-stage start-ups' transformation into billion-dollar firms in Indonesia, but experts around the world are calling for more rational valuation of technology-based companies. With gross merchandise value (GMV) increasingly becoming the metric to value online retail businesses in their initial stages, venture capitalists and economists are now warning of the sustainability of such valuations. Billion-dollar unicorns should be measured by real revenue, profit and loss at that stage, they warn. GMV measures total sales volume transactions through digital platforms, which most of the time act as mediators for transactions rather than the direct seller. Meanwhile, revenue comes from the income of doing business as the mediator, through fees or advertising. “I don’t really believe in GMV, because if someday there is a glo...