Indonesian ride-hailing company Gojek and e-commerce firm PT Tokopedia yesterday said that they are merging to form the GoTo Group.
The companies said the deal was Indonesia’s biggest ever, based on historical fundraising rounds for Gojek, priced in 2019 and Tokopedia, priced in early last year, which put the combined past valuations of the companies at US$18 billion.
The new company would provide services from ride-hailing and financial services to e-commerce.
GoTo is backed by investors including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴), BlackRock Inc, Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊) and Temasek Holdings Pte.
The merger comes a month after Gojek’s largest rival, Singapore-based Grab Holdings Inc, said it would list in the US via a merger with a special public acquisition company (SPAC) that valued the company at US$40 billion.
Gojek co-CEO Andre Soelistyo is to lead the new company, while Tokopedia president Patrick Cao is to retain his title in the combined entity.
“Today is a truly historic day as we mark the beginning of GoTo and the next phase of growth for Gojek, Tokopedia and GoTo Financial,” Soelistyo said in a statement.
He said that the company intends to promote financial inclusion while providing “best in class” delivery of goods and services.
The merger of Gojek and Tokopedia comes as competition is heating up in Southeast Asia, where technology companies compete for the wallets of more than 650 million people.
GoTo’s rival Grab also provides ride-hailing and on-demand services across eight countries in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, while Internet firm Sea Ltd has made a massive push into e-commerce in Asia with its Shopee e-commerce platform.
Gojek was founded in 2010 by Nadiem Makarim as a call center for motorbike taxis, known as ojek in Indonesia. It has since expanded to provide not just ride-hailing, but also a variety of on-demand services, including food delivery.
Makarim stepped down as chief executive officer in October 2019 after taking on a ministerial position in the Indonesian government, and Soelistyo, together with Kevin Aluwi, were named co-CEOs.
Tokopedia was founded in 2009 by William Tanuwijaya and has expanded to become Indonesia’s largest e-commerce firm. It later expanded to provide financial services such as digital payments and lending services.
GoTo Group has more than 11 million monthly active users, the companies said, with its business encompassing 2 percent of Indonesia’s GDP of more than US$1 trillion.
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