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Southeast Asia tech race heats up as Gojek, Tokopedia form GoTo

The race to become Southeast Asia’s largest technology company is now underway, following the merger of Gojek and Tokopedia.

  • Gojek, a lifestyle ‘superapp’, and Tokopedia, an e-commerce platform, have combined to form GoTo Group
  • The newly formed entity is valued at roughly US$18 billion, based on earlier fundraising rounds
  • GoTo is expected to go public in the US this year; rival Grab plans to list via an SPAC
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Gojek, Tokopedia merger: What are the details?

Two of Southeast Asia’s most valuable tech unicorns, Gojek and Tokopedia, have combined their businesses to form GoTo Group valued at an estimated US$18 billion.

The newly formed entity becomes the largest technology group and digital consumer platform in Indonesia, with over 100 million monthly active users, according to a joint news release.

The agreement also marks the largest ever merger in Indonesia and the largest between two Asia-based internet media and services companies to date.

GoTo, backed by Alibaba Group Holding and SoftBank Group, is expected to go public this year, having begun discussions since the start of the year.

GoTo combines the strengths of both companies - Gojek’s lifestyle ‘superapp’ that offers ride-hailing and other services such as payments, and Tokopedia’s e-commerce expertise, to create ‘an ecosystem that encompasses 2% of Indonesia’s Gross Domestic Product’.

The GoTo Group had a total Gross Transaction Value (GTV) of over US$22 billion in 2020, over 1.8 billion transactions in 2020, a registered driver fleet of over two million and over 11 million merchant partners as of December 2020.

Gojek shareholders will own 58% of the combined group.

Both companies will continue to operate separately

Gojek’s Andre Soelistyo will lead the combined business as GoTo Group CEO, with Tokopedia’s Patrick Cao serving as GoTo Group President.

In addition to his group responsibility, Soelistyo will continue to lead payments and financial services, under the new brand of GoTo Financial, which encompasses GoPay as well as the group’s merchant and financial services offerings.

Kevin Aluwi will continue as CEO of Gojek and William Tanuwijaya will remain CEO of Tokopedia.

Both Gojek and Tokopedia will continue to operate as separate businesses but ‘with heavy emphasis on how... to create better innovation and better synergies for our collective users, merchants, and drivers,’ Soelistyo said during a press conference.

Cao said: ‘Our business model is now even more diverse, stable and sustainable. We have Gojek’s high volume, high frequency mobility transactions, combined with Tokopedia’s high value, medium frequency e-commerce transactions.’

The formation of GoTo means the competition to become Southeast Asia’s largest technology conglomerate is now underway, with Singapore-based Sea and Grab also in the mix.

Sea is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has a current market capitalisation of US$118.7 billion. Grab said earlier this year it will go public in the US via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Altimeter Growth Corp (Nasdaq: AGC) at a valuation of almost US$40 billion.

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