eBay announced today that it has increased its stake in GittiGidiyor, Turkey's leading ecommerce company to 93%. This is a landmark transaction for Turkish internet. Congratulations to Serkan, Burak, Tolga, Aydonat, and the team at iLab! This is the fruit of a lot of hard work.
The real winner in the deal is the Turkish internet, ecommerce and VC industries. This is the first internet exit of a magnitude that creates real wealth for the entrepreneurs. That means the case for internet entrepreneurship as a viable career path for the best and the brightest coming out of the best schools in Turkey has gotten stronger. The bottleneck of high quality talent for web startups might just get a bit eased.
I bet there are tens of LP presentation decks being updated today, as this transaction gets added to the top of the page dealing with the tough question of internet exits in Turkey. A similar update will take place in corporate development departments of any global internet companies, as Turkey becomes more and more visible on the international M&A roadmap.
Finally, this is also a personal landmark for me and my career as an entrepreneur and investor in Turkey. I'd met the GG team back in 2005 and had the chance to work on the deal alongside the iLab team in 2006. Back then, I had felt that this was the greatest Turkish internet company to invest in. It's nice to see that after 6 years, eBay agreed.