Saturday, January 29, 2022

Trend reversal: Red-hot Turkish tech eludes traditional firms

In line with developments around the world during the coronavirus pandemic, Turkey found itself among countries where companies engaged in the data economy topped in valuations.

Such firms, most of which were launched only in the last decade, are reversing the historical trend, ousting deep-rooted industrial enterprises, banks and telecom operators to become Turkey’s most valuable companies.

Topping the list is Trendyol, one of Turkey’s most famous e-commerce platforms, which was also recently established in 2010. This is followed by an even younger player, Getir, a grocery delivery app that was founded in 2015.

Backed by Chinese Internet giant Alibaba, Trendyol raised its valuation to $16.5 billion (TL223 billion) in August last year after raising billions of dollars in funding from several high-profile investors. Thus it became Turkey’s first “Decacorn” – a term for startups that cross the $10 billion mark.

Valued at $7.7 billion last year, Getir is on the verge of raising capital for its part in a funding round that would raise its valuation to $12 billion.

The Istanbul-based company, which raised a total of $1.1 billion through multiple rounds from investors last year, has become one of the most valuable rapid delivery startups. US rival Gopuff is worth $15 billion.

According to startup monitor startups.watch, last year saw a big change and change compared to previous years, which is due to the announcement of 2021 data about the Turkish startup ecosystem on 19 January.

majority in the hands of founding partners

Alibaba is the top stakeholder in Trendyol, while the founding partners are still reported to hold a majority of shares in Getir.

It has set the on-demand rapid delivery pioneer apart from its competitors and made its rapid global journey a model for many technology startups.

Looking at the data management panel, it is not surprising that these two companies – which have started the transformation of e-commerce in Turkey and turned it into a unique market – hold the top two positions in the ranking.

Ultimately, both of these enterprises have managed to set themselves apart from their competitors by using technology to closely and quickly follow user behavior and demands.

What will happen next?

Its rapid global expansion has led to the launch of Getir in the US in November, just a few months after expanding to Europe to launch its services in the world’s largest retail market.

It launched in three US cities in just one month, including Chicago in mid-November and New York and Boston in mid-December.

It expanded to the US after its rollout in the UK, Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal in 2021 alone.

It is also strengthening its footprint in Turkey, as its business model further expanded after the country’s Competition Authority (RK) approved its stake purchase in e-commerce platform n11 this week.

The investment in n11, which has a portfolio of over 20 million goods, over 270,000 registered business partners and over 23 million users, marked Getir’s largest transaction to date in Turkey.

Giants are being left behind

The founding dates of companies ranked in the top 10 demonstrate the importance and size of ongoing change. Telecom giant Turkcell is the youngest, having been discovered in 1994, while the 90-year-old major glassmaker işecam has been the longest.

Keep in mind that Turkcell has achieved valuation by increasing the number of its Internet users. Change is an inevitable reality. Every company that fails to ensure data transformation is doomed to lose its place in the rankings.

Ultimately, Getir and Trendyol use technology to analyze consumer behavior, deliver the best and ensure a complete consumer experience. In short, they attribute their success to data mining and hence to the data economy.

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