GoTo's losses expand in Q12022 even as gross revenue sees 53% growth

Photo: GoTo website

Indonesia-listed technology major PT GoTo Gojek Tokopedia (GoTo) reported a wider loss in the first three months of 2022 despite a 53% year-on-year growth in gross revenue, prompting the company to increase its focus on steps to boost margins and cost-cutting.

Its losses in the January-March period stood at 6.47 trillion rupiah compared with 1.81 trillion rupiah in the corresponding period a year earlier, per the first earnings announcement after its April listing on the IDX following a $1.1-billion IPO.

GoTo Group chief executive officer Andre Soelistyo attributed the surge in losses to the fact that the Q1 2021 numbers don’t include Tokopedia. The Gojek-Tokopedia merger was completed in May 2021.

GoTo, which also released its full-year 2021 earnings report, recorded 21.39 trillion rupiah ($1.47 billion) in losses last year, up 50.55% from the previous year. Its gross revenue stood at 17 trillion rupiah in 2021, up 43.51% from 11.85 trillion rupiah in 2020 and 10.41 trillion rupiah in 2019.

The major portion of the gross revenue was contributed by its on-demand service at 10.27 trillion rupiah, followed by e-commerce at 6.26 trillion rupiah, and fintech service at 1.16 trillion rupiah throughout 2021. GoTo’s GTV increased 39.81% to 461.6 trillion rupiah in 2021, from 330.18 trillion rupiah a year earlier.

The tech major says it had a strong start this year with its gross revenue growing 53% to 5.2 trillion rupiah and its GTV growing 46% to 140 trillion rupiah in Q12022compared with 2021.

“We’ve seen a positive momentum for GoTo,” Soelistyo said on Monday, noting that the listed company is set to focus on “building a sustainable business” with a “clear path to profitability” going forward.

GoTo’s path to profitability consists of new investment in fintech, developing hyperlocal delivery and speeding up monetisation, Soelistyo said.

GoTo said it reduced costs by cutting down customer incentives and marketing costs by 90 basis points (bps) and 40 bps respectively. “We focus on monetisation and business synergies (between Gojek and Tokopedia) which led to contributing margin and Ebitda margin by 100 bps and 70 bps,” he said.

On hyperlocal delivery, GoTo said it will optimise operations by using the most suitable and cheapest fleet. In new initiatives under the fintech space, GoTo plans to launch GoPay Coin in the second quarter to allow customers to earn rewards from Tokopedia that they can further spend on Tokopedia or other platforms within the GoTo ecosystem. 

Fintech play

GoTo recently secured an e-wallet licence from Bank Indonesia as part of its efforts to improve user convenience on its platform, a move seen to boost transactions.

“We do believe that the ability to provide direct-to-bank-account payments will increase the propensity of our users to spend,” Andre Soelistyo said in GoTo’s first-ever earnings call.

“This is a trend that we also see in China and India, when you actually do a direct-to-bank-account payment, we see a lot of GTV increase and what not. Through the e-wallet license, we will be able to do so.”

GoTo reported that 93% of its GTV e-payment in Q1 2022 came from GoPay. Soelistyo had mentioned at GoTo’s IPO presentation earlier this year that the company was looking to release a separate GoPay app. He did not offer further details but mentioned in the call that the app will have functionalities beyond payment.

“From savings, spending, growing and also be able to reconcile everything through our personal financial management dashboard,” he said, noting that a lot of the capabilities will be supported by Bank Jago.

Amid the profitability focus, GoTo will keep an eye on the opportunities for an M&A but the company doesn’t focus on that at the moment, Soelistyo said.

“You’ve also seen us be very disciplined on the opposite side, to divest where we don’t see high ROI,” GoTo president Patrick Cao said, noting that the company has sold its units in Thailand and the Philippines to strengthen its capital position.

Outlook

GoTo has forecasted its GTV for the second quarter of 2022 to be between 142 trillion rupiah and 150 trillion rupiah while gross revenue to be around 5.3 trillion rupiah to 5.6 trillion rupiah.

Its outlook for the full-year 2022 will be announced at the earnings call for the Q2 period.

“We expect to reap significant additional benefits as we integrate Gojek, Tokopedia and GoTo Financial further and have been investing accordingly in cross-platform integration since May 2021,” said GoTo Group CFO Jacky Lo in a statement.

As a result of optimizing incentive spending and operating expenses, GoTo has managed to improve contribution margin and adjusted EBITDA margin by 24 and 14 percentage points, respectively, in Q1 2022 when compared to the previous sequential quarter (Q4 2021), Lo added.

Commenting on the performance, MNC Securities head of research Edwin Sebayang said, “Investors want to see GoTo’s strategies to improve the bottom line and top line by cutting costs or reducing burn rate.” He pointed out that GoTo’s plan to raise profitability should reflect in its financial reports for it to attract investors.

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