Tokopedia CEO defends merger with Gojek to lawmakers

GoTo is set to complete pre-IPO funding round in October to raise around $1.5 billion with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Singapore's Temasek lead, sources said.

Indonesia’s e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia defended its merger plan with ride-hailing and financial technology company Gojek in a rare hearing at the country’s parliament on Wednesday.

The idea behind what would be the biggest business deal in Indonesian history came from both Tokopedia and Gojek founders with an aim to compete with other global players, Tokopedia founder and chief executive William Tanuwijaya said.

Tokopedia and Gojek, Indonesia’s two most valuable tech companies, announced their merger plan in May to create tech powerhouse GoTo Group.

Tanuwijaya said the merger was never intended to control the domestic market and that people still have abundant choices for similar services offered by both Tokopedia and Gojek.

“Tokopedia and Gojek merger is not a consolidation because, in our industry, similar companies merge to consolidate the market,” Tanuwijaya told the lawmakers who oversee trade and industry.

“Gojek is in the transportation business, food, and payment system and Tokopedia is in marketplace business… This would be a global powerhouse,” he said, noting that the merger was not orchestrated by the companies’ investors.

Tokopedia has garnered around $2.8 billion from Alibaba Group, SoftBank, Google, Sequoia Capital India, among others, while Gojek has raised over $5 billion in funding from top investors including Google, Facebook, PayPal, Tencent, and Visa.

GoTo claimed to have transactions worth about 2% of Indonesian GDP within its platform.

“When combined, we can accelerate, not laying off people but instead absorbing more workforce. That is the story behind the merger,” he said.

Tanuwijawa’s comment came after a lawmaker expressed his concern against the merger.

Reuters first reported Indonesia’s anti-trust agency’s (KPPU) plans to scrutinise the merger to check for potential monopolistic behaviour. Guntur Saragih, a KPPU commissioner, told DealStreetAsia the agency received the merger notification on August 9 but it is still assessing the implications of the deal.

The hearing was also attended in person by Bukalapak CEO Rachmat Kaimuddin and Shopee Indonesia executive director Christin Djuarto. Gojek CEO and co-founder Kevin Aluwi joined the hearing through video call.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.