Features
19 May 21

Indonesia’s Gojek & Tokopedia merge into GoTo

Two of Indonesia’s most important tech companies have decided to join forces in what will be the country’s biggest merger ever, worth $18 billion. Ride hailing specialist Gojek and e-commerce platform Tokopedia merge into GoTo. The deal is supported by major venture funds from Alibaba and SoftBank. And the deal is interesting for corporate fleet and mobility managers. 

Digital services scope

Gojek is, next to Grab, a major player in the South-East Asian ride hailing industry. They compete in several countries and have consistently been clear about their expansion ambitions. Expansion however goes beyond geographical reach: it’s also about adding services that support the daily lives of their users.

Entering the lifestyle arena

Grab has understood early that, in order to understand and anticipate the needs of the consumer, they need to become a comprehensive service supplier that does more than taking people from place A to place B. Grab has developed banking (wallet) services, but also food deliveries and shopping. In other words, a Singaporean can manage most of their daily activities on one app.

Gojek was a bit behind, compared to Grab, exactly on these additional services. This is changing now

Tokopedia

The Jakarta-based e-commerce giant Tokopedia is less known outside of Indonesia. It is an Amazon-style digital commerce space, allowing consumers and merchants to access the digital economy. The company has been around for about 10 years and, just like Gojek, unprofitable despite its scale.

GoTo

Gojek had tried to merge with Grab, a $39.6 billion deal that failed not too long ago. The merger with Tokopedia makes sense for the ride hailing company and is perhaps an even better deal for digital commerce in Asia: thanks to Tokopedia, Gojek will now have the capabilities it was missing to compete further with Grab. Tokopedia, on its side, has now access to its partner distribution and transportation network.

Investors

Both companies had previously benefited from investments from Google, Sequoia and Temasek. Alibaba and Softbank are joining the team, together with other investors such as BlackRock, Facebook, PayPal, Tencent, Visa and Indonesia’s car industry leader Astra International.

Corporate mobility 

This merger is particlarly interesting in the context of corporate mobility effiiency. Since 2000 in particular and despite the current pandemic, tthe economies in APAC have steadily grown and internationalised, increasing the need for valuable mobility solutions, both for consumers and corporates. However, multinational corporations often struggle to optimise their vehicle fleet management practices across the Asia Pacific region.

The good news is that people in Asia have a natural flair in adopting new mobility solutions supported by technology to cope with traffic jams, weather challenges and road infrastructure. This means corporate clients have the opportunity to become incubators for new solutions: asset sharing, electrification, mobility, complementary to the car. And here this merger fits in perfectly. 

Picture Credit: Shutterstock

Authored by: Yves Helven