In 2014, a group of friends visited Bangkok’s famous weekend market, Chatuchak, while on holiday. Among them, was then 22-year-old Ankiti Bose, an investment analyst at Sequoia Capital. With over 25,000 merchants and thousands of fashion stalls in Chatuchak, it got Bose thinking about how to give these sellers opportunities to expand beyond their cramped shops.
When William Tanuwijaya first started raising funds to build Tokopedia, Indonesia’s largest e-marketplace, back in 2009, investors were skeptical and few had reason to entrust him with capital to grow his startup.
Not only was the idea of Tokopedia novel, with no other existing benchmark in the market at the time, but Tanuwijaya himself was a university drop-out with no prior entrepreneurial experience or background.