Early backer of Getir investing $120m in Turkey

Early backer of Getir investing $120m in Turkey

Bloomberg - An early backer of Getir is preparing for its next act as it comes off a gain of nearly 6,000% in the value of its investment in Turkish delivery app.

The big opportunity spotted by Re-Pie Asset Management Inc. is in Turkey s buy now, pay later sector, a business model that s enjoying a moment globally.

Colendi s latest Fintech investment by Re-Pie in Colendi, a platform of 2.4 million users, was made at an unprecedented value of $120m, roughly below what Getir raised when the asset manager backed it in 2018?

Mr. Colendi ticks all the boxes to be the next unicorn of Istanbul, Emre Camlibel, chairman of Re-Pie, said in Turkey.

Getir, alongside the e-commerce platform Trendyol, is leading a crop of tech startups that shake up the pecking order of Turkey Inc. Hepsiburada.com, another large online shopping platform, this year became the first Turkish firm to list on Nasdaq.

Now Getir operates across the U.K. and beyond, With operations worth $7.56 billion following its funding round in June. Re-Pie first invested at $128 million value. Trendyol, backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is Turkey's first company valued at over $1.5 billion following a funding round in August.

While Turkey staggered from crisis to crisis, investors poured around $3.2 billion into the nation's startups this year, more than the industry combined over the past decade in the total amount. According to startupMarket data, Turkish companies raised a total of $177 million last year.

Technology companies aren't bound by the country s limitations, Camlibel said. Also, technology companies with new spin will continue to prosper with international investment. The Istanbul-based Re-Pie, founded in 2015, manages 3.8 billion liras ($445 million) of assets. It invests in innovation-focused startups from the startup stage to pre-IPO deals.

Re-Pie, which oversees the investment of real estate and venture capital funds, doesn t disclose its average returns. Earlier this year, it acquired a 40% stake in Internet service provider TurkNet.

The company made a partial exit from Getir, and distributing a dividend of 275 million liras to its investors. Camlibel wouldn t specify the size of its current holding. It invests in around a dozen companies through private equity funds.

Currently ranked 17th - largest by assets among 48 portfolio management companies in Turkey, Re-Pie aims to crack the Top 10 in the next five years.

While the pandemic have fueled a boom in e-commerce, pay later programs have also surged in popularity as a way to defer payment on purchases. Annual transactions in the segment globally could increase by 2025 to 10 - to 15 fold, to more than $1 trillion according to a March report by CB Insights.

However the model is also under scrutiny by regulators in the U.K. with the Financial Conduct Authority saying earlier this year that it will start regulating the sector. The approach has faced criticism that it can encourage people to spend more than they can afford.

The investment momentum for the industry is also building in Turkey, a country which has a wealth of mobile apps and where mobile penetration is almost 100%. Home to nearly 84 million people, Turkey is the youngest European median age in Turkey with about 30.

How can I see the demographics of the country and changing consumer habits, we see that technology will continue to expand, Camlibel said. Digital banking won t disappear, but we will see a massive boom in traditional banking. Colendi recently invested $12 million in Re-Pie, which provides access to loans, as part of its $10 million investment round. Colendi s initial investors included Aslanoba Capital, Bogazici Ventures and Next Ventures.

Turkey is now abuzz with investment opportunities as it draws in more global names.

Getir is supported by powerhouses such as Silver Lake and Mubadala Investment Co. while Trendyol raised the first investment of SoftBank Group Corp. in Turkey.

Camlibel's entrepreneurial ecosystem has come to a certain level with the backing of the public sector, which provides tax advantages both for entrepreneurs and investors, said Turkey. Global players will see more investment in Turkey for the next 10 years.