Photo credit: hepsiburada.com

 

October 14, 2017

 

 

According to a recent report by Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is fielding bids for hepsiburada.com which could lead to Turkey’s largest technology deal.

According to the Hanzade Dogan Boyner the Chairman of the company (pictured above), Hepsiburada is receiving buyout offers, but she declined to comment on speculation that one of the companies interested was Amazon, which established an office in Turkey in August.

Goldman, is taking care of bid acquisition so that the business can focus on day to day activities. Hanzade Dogan has said that “We like to always consider our options. The interest in Hepsiburada is there." She also states that there is “relatively manageable” infrastructure for quick deliveries.

Similarly to it's "big brother", Amazon.com, part of Hepsiburada’s strategy involves building the web infrastructure for other e-commerce aspirants. Last year it launched a marketplace platform, which now hosts more than 8,000 merchants. This year it opened Hepsiexpress, which enables last-mile delivery and transport management for sellers in Istanbul and will soon be expanded to other cities. It also has a payment system called Hepsipay.

The company is “cash-flow positive,” Hanzade Dogan Boyner said, declining to provide details except to say that it was the largest by revenue in Turkey. Sales nearly doubled in 2016 when Hepsiburada launched its marketplace, and growth this year will “normalize” to about 40 percent, she said. The site has more than 12 million product listings and receives 70 million monthly visits, of which 85 percent are from people coming directly to the website or the mobile app. Those numbers dwarf the figures of other e-commerce players in the region including Dubai-based Souq.com, which claimed 23 million monthly visits and more than 400,000 products when Amazon acquired it in March.

Ok, so what's my takeout on this? While, I am a self-admitted fan of Turkey, this is a nice business with a strong position in one of the largest markets in the region. Turkey's SME culture would seem to match a marketplace like this and, despite political uncertainty, it would seem to be an opportunity not to be missed. My personal bet is that Amazon is in the running, but let's see...we will be sure to find out, sooner or later!

I can't let this go without a short aside on our core area at Last Mile Experts. Here, I would be less positive about the current situation. E-commerce last mile infrastructure is poor and will require significant efforts to match best in class markets such as the UK. I believe that Hepsiburada is right to develop their own infrastructure and "learn the ropes" , but they will still need to rely on capacity from Turkey's other carriers. Today, none of the operators is able to offer a truly customer centric service and no effective PUDO or "access point" network exists (a recent test by Bukoli folded several months ago). I suppose I shouldn't be too concerned though, this means lots of opportunities in the Last Mile space! Any views?