Indonesia’s ride-hailing and payments platform Gojek, which has gotten immensely popular, and e-commerce company Tokopedia are reportedly in talks for a S$23.7 Billion merger ahead of a planned IPO (Initial Public Offering). The combined entity would form an Indonesian internet powerhouse, and offer a range of businesses akin to a mashup between Uber, Paypal and Amazon.
Since it entered Singapore, Gojek has been hugely popular. The ride-sharing platform has battled the homegrown based start-up, Grab, which has had a strong position in the ride-hailing and food delivery markets. Meanwhile, Tokopedia’s C2C e-commerce platform has seen about 60 million average monthly visits as of July 2019.
The two companies have been in talks since 2018, after Gojek and rival ride-hailing giant Grab’s discussions reached an impasse back in mid-December 2020. Fearing the mass job losses that could be incurred, Gojek drivers and riders threatened to go on strike if the merger with the Singaporean ride-hailing platform went ahead without them.
According to experts familiar with the companies’ finances, Gojek and Tokopedia are valued at USS10 billion and US$7.5 billion respectively. A deal between both Indonesian companies is less likely to face regulatory opposition, unlike a merger between Grab and Gojek. Helped along is the fact that the founders of both companies have been friends since their companies’ inception a decade ago, and both parties anticipate an amicable partnership.
If combined, Gojek and Tokopedia would dominate Indonesia, which is already one of the fastest-growing internet economies. Currently, Indonesia is leading the way in Southeast Asia, ahead of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. Their planned US-listing would give global investors an alternative Southeast Asian company to invest in.
The companies are considering several options for a public offering; A traditional IPO in Indonesia and the US, or working with a blank-cheque company for a US listing. Sources say that a handful of such companies have already held discussions with both Indonesian companies in the past few months.
The Jakarta based company has said that it is still considering options and have not decided on which market and method, stating that a Special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is a potential option but they have not committed to anything.
Representatives of both Gojek and Tokopedia have yet to comment.