Trendyol, an e-commerce company backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is close to raising fresh funding at a $16.5 billion valuation, making it Turkey’s biggest startup, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The company is in talks to raise about $1.5 billion from investors including General Atlantic and could complete the deal as soon as next week, the people said, asking not to be identified because the transaction isn’t yet public. SoftBank Group Corp. is also in talks to invest in the round, and proceeds will be used to expand the business in Turkey and abroad, they said.
The e-commerce company has benefited from a surge in online buying in Turkey, which jumped 66% last year, according to the trade ministry. Trendyol’s gross merchandise value, a measure of the products it sells on its platform, has grown by about 20 times in the past three years and is on track to hit $10 billion this year, people familiar with the company said in April.
Representatives from Trendyol and General Atlantic declined to comment. A spokesperson for SoftBank didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The funding round would make Trendyol’s Turkey’s only “decacorn” with a valuation of more than $10 billion. The company hit $9.4 billion earlier this year when its top stakeholder, Alibaba, invested $350 million, according to the country’s commercial registry.
Citigroup Inc. is the sole adviser on the transaction, according to the people. A representative for the bank declined to comment.
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