How Gojek and Tokopedia teamed up in Indonesia’s greatest merger

Kevin Aluwi and William Tanuwijaya just lately made Indonesian historical past.

As founding members of GoTo Group, the 30-somethings are liable for creating Indonesia’s latest and most precious tech firm after merging their ride-hailing and e-commerce start-ups within the nation’s biggest-ever enterprise deal.

The mixed entity contributes 2% to Indonesia’s GDP by way of its numerous enterprise strains together with a strong super-app, based on the corporate. And that is only the start.

“Hopefully in the future, we’ll contribute to 5 to 10%,” Tanuwijaya, co-founder and CEO of Tokopedia advised CNBC Make It.

However you might by no means have heard of it. So what precisely is GoTo and the way did it get so massive?

Founding Indonesia’s greatest tech firm

GoTo Group is an Indonesian tech big fashioned in Might 2021 in a blockbuster merger between two of the nation’s largest start-ups: Gojek and Tokopedia.

Based a yr aside within the capital Jakarta, Tokopedia began in 2009 as an e-commerce market to attach small retailers with patrons, whereas Gojek launched in 2010 as a ride-hailing platform for bike taxis. 

Each firms have been created by a gaggle of mates of their 20s, who have been responding to an rising wave of web connectivity taking maintain of the nation on the time. 

Indonesian expertise firm GoTo offers on-demand, e-commerce and digital funds providers.


“There was type of this inflection level the place folks have been seeing the potential of the web there, particularly with the rise of cell,” mentioned Aluwi, co-founder and CEO of Gojek.

In a sprawling nation with the world’s fourth-largest inhabitants and a quickly rising center class, the founders have been onto one thing. Within the years that adopted, each companies ventured into digital funds and different providers.

Think about that Amazon, DoorDash, Uber, PayPal, Stripe is mixed collectively.

William Tanuwijaya

co-founder and CEO, Tokopedia

Tokopedia doubled down on including new market segments corresponding to mother and father and small stallholders to its ecosystem. In the meantime, Gojek expanded its ride-hailing platform regionally and grew its home tremendous app, providing customers on-demand providers from meals to massages and manicures.

Then in 2015, the 2 started working in partnership, utilizing Gojek drivers to supply same-day supply for Tokopedia merchandise throughout their off-peak using hours. 

“We have been the primary on this planet to convey collectively a partnership between an on-demand platform with an e-commerce platform,” mentioned Aluwi.

A localized tremendous app

Six years later, amid rising competitors from regional and international tech firms, the pair agreed to formally merge final month in an $18 billion deal — Indonesia’s largest ever.

“Think about that Amazon, DoorDash, Uber, PayPal, Stripe is mixed collectively,” mentioned Tanuwijaya. “There is a saying that if you wish to go quick, you go alone; if you wish to go far, you go collectively. So GoTo, mainly, is go far, go collectively.”

Indonesiam expertise firm GoTo Group contains three enterprise arms, Gojek, GoTo Monetary and Tokopedia.


Below the brand new construction, GoJek’s Andre Soelistyo takes over as CEO of GoTo Group and GoTo Monetary, Tokopedia’s Patrick Cao turns into president, whereas Aluwi and Tanuwijaya stay CEOs of Gojek and Tokopedia, respectively.

The mixed entity counts over 100 million month-to-month lively customers, greater than 11 million retailers, and over 2 million drivers in an ecosystem that represents 2% of Indonesia’s $1 trillion GDP, the corporate mentioned.

GoTo is hoping that can assist it seize a better chunk of the market in Indonesia and past.

Tapping Southeast Asia’s alternative

Indonesia’s digital financial system is predicted to be value $124 billion by 2025, as the broader Southeast Asian on-line market triples in worth to greater than $309 billion, based on a current research.

“Indonesia stays vastly thrilling due to the inhabitants in Southeast Asia, enormous financial development forecasts for the subsequent 10 years or thereabouts, (and) actually turning right into a consumption-based financial system,” mentioned Florian Hoppe, a companion at Bain & Firm and co-author of the analysis.

That is each an enormous enterprise alternative but in addition an space the place we actually suppose we are able to ship plenty of affect.

Kevin Aluwi

co-founder and CEO, Gojek

However in an effort to develop, Hoppe mentioned companies want to focus on their providers on the 120 million Indonesians who dwell exterior city areas throughout the greater than 17,000 island archipelago.

“A lot of the early development was pushed by key city facilities, was pushed by Java,” he mentioned. “The following half goes to be the actually attention-grabbing story. How do you attain them? Establishing logistics providers there, onboarding them for funds, actually beginning to combine them within the digital financial system.” 

Southeast Asia’s digital financial system is forecast to triple in worth by 2025.


For GoTo, that features offering funds and monetary providers in a rustic the place 47 million adults lack entry to mainstream monetary providers and merchandise, and 92 million folks have by no means used a financial institution.

“It is these people who’re underbanked or unbanked, the place falling sick or financial shocks can actually imply the distinction between being within the center class and falling again into poverty,” mentioned Aluwi. “So, that is each an enormous enterprise alternative but in addition an space the place we actually suppose we are able to ship plenty of affect.”

Aiming to IPO in 2021

So far, neither Gojek nor Tokopedia is worthwhile. 

GoTo is alleged to be planning one other spherical of fundraising earlier than a public itemizing, probably in Jakarta and the U.S. Already, the corporate boasts a formidable checklist of buyers corresponding to Softbank, Alibaba, Tencent, Fb and Google.

“On timeframe, not just for the IPO, however on all product improvement, my timeframe is all the time yesterday,” mentioned Tanuwijaya. “However to be sensible to the workforce and so forth, then it is as quickly as doable. We hope that we are able to purpose to checklist by hopefully the tip of this yr.”

The potential’s clearly there and I believe worldwide buyers have woken as much as that.

Florian Hoppe

companion, Bain & Firm

In April, rival tremendous app Seize accomplished a Nasdaq itemizing by means of the world’s greatest “clean examine merger” — a particular function acquisition firm valued at virtually $40 billion. GoTo is alleged to be looking for a public market valuation goal of $35 billion to $40 billion.

The IPOs of GoTo and Seize will additionally function a litmus take a look at for the area. If profitable, it may pave the best way for extra tech start-ups to emerge as investor urge for food grows. 

“Southeast Asia, traditionally, has had a bit tougher time getting on the radar subsequent to China and India,” mentioned Hoppe. “The previous few years have proven that now, the digital financial system is really rivaling on the very least India. However the potential’s clearly there and I believe worldwide buyers have woken as much as that.” 

Making ready to go international

With their newly mixed assets and enterprise thriving within the new panorama, the corporate is now planning its growth technique, together with an bold pledge sustainability pledge.

“GoTo comes with a giant duty,” mentioned Tanuwijaya. “We attempt to present options for an issue that we found out a decade in the past. However this resolution will additionally create one other downside; with thousands and thousands of drivers, the emissions, with so many retailers, the packaging and so forth.”

GoTo is an Indonesian expertise firm fashioned in a Might 2021 merger between ride-hailing big Gojek and e-commerce platform Tokopedia.


“So we’ve a dedication by the yr of 2030 (to) actually drive zero waste, zero emissions, and to turn out to be an organization that may be a legacy for the subsequent era.” 

The daring ambitions suggest the GoTo of 2030 may look very totally different from right this moment. However as far as the leaders are involved, they’re simply getting began. 

“There is not any doubt that our ambitions are international,” mentioned Aluwi. “We now have operations not simply in Indonesia and we do imagine that the long run for our mixed group is one which goes past only one nation.” 

Do not miss: How 3 mates made a multibillion-dollar enterprise of Indonesia’s road stalls

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