Exclusive: Adia-backed GoTo 'on track' for Indonesian listing in 2022

Indonesia's most valuable start-up is also considering a subsequent listing in the US

GoTo, Indonesia's biggest technology company that is backed by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, is “on track” with plans to list on the Indonesia Stock Exchange next year, its group chief executive said.

Indonesia's most valuable start-up is also considering a subsequent listing in the US following the Jakarta listing, Andre Soelistyo, the chief executive of GoTo Group, told The National on Thursday.

“We guided to next year and that's something we're on track for,” Mr Soelistyo said of the IDX listing. “We'll start with the Indonesian stock exchange … We will do a subsequent dual listing.”

Because a lot of our peers are also listed in the US, to be able to get access, to be comparable, to get that kind of research coverage and market liquidity is also important. So we will get the best of both worlds effectively.
Patrick Cao, GoTo Group president

Listing on the IDX is important as GoTo is a home-grown company and the bourse is one of the most “robust” in the region, said Patrick Cao, president of GoTo Group.

“As a home-grown Indonesian company, and the largest technology company, it makes sense for us to do it on the Indonesian exchange because there's a lot of depth and because it's very symbolic,” Mr Cao said.

“But at the same time, because a lot of our peers are also listed in the US, to be able to get access, to be comparable, to get that kind of research coverage and market liquidity is also important,” he said. “So we will get the best of both worlds effectively.”

Both Mr Soelistyo and Mr Cao declined to say when a potential listing in the US could happen following the initial public offering in Jakarta.

“It's something we're still working on,” Mr Cao said. “We've built our systems and our governance to prepare for a world-class listing, so that's something we've been preparing for quite a long time, so it's just a matter of the right sequence and the right timing.”

GoTo was formed in May 2021 through the merger of the country’s largest start-ups, ride-hailing and food delivery firm Gojek and e-commerce leader Tokopedia, in an $18 billion deal. Indonesia’s digital economy is expected to be worth $124bn by 2025, growing from $44bn in 2020, according to a recent study by Bain, Google and Temasek.

The executives also declined to specify the amount of funds that the company would seek to raise from the IPO.

Adia, which invests on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government, is investing $400 million to lead a pre-IPO fund-raising round, the sovereign wealth fund said on October 20.

“Being able to secure investment from Adia and similar funds also gives us a lot of validity because Indonesia and South-East Asia are, to an extent, rising up in terms of the size of the companies and interest into this part of the region,” Mr Soelistyo said. “This marks the first technology investment by Adia in this region, so that actually says something.”

GoTo also wants to engage similar types of investors and foster long-term relationships with them for its future IPO plan, the chief executive said.

The company is planning to make an announcement as early as next week about the size of the first close in its pre-IPO round, Mr Cao said.

“We are already well capitalised — the way we run our business is very efficient. But the benefit of the pre-IPO is to be able to build these long-term relationships,” he said. “That builds the bridge from the pre-IPO leading into the Indonesian Stock Exchange IPO where investors in this region, especially the sovereign wealth funds, do participate in a very big way.”

The company is seeking to raise $1.5bn to $2bn through its pre-IPO fund-raising this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

GoTo's services include digital payments, e-commerce, ride-hailing and other on-demand services.

“This is a magical time to be running a technology business because customers — whether buyers, sellers or even drivers — need these services to get access to essential goods and services now more than ever,” Mr Cao said.

The company plans to use the additional capital to accelerate its growth plans, invest in better infrastructure, develop its products and make hyperlocal logistics even faster, he said.

Growing investor interest in the tech company is “testament to the Indonesian opportunity”, Mr Cao said, referring to the country's large population, gross domestic product per capita, fast-growing digitalisation market and an expanding middle-class, combined with rapid digital adoption.

GoTo will continue to focus on growing within Indonesia in the short to medium term to capitalise on market opportunities. The company, which also operates on-demand services in Singapore and Vietnam, sees opportunities to expand “deep and wide” in its home market initially, but does not rule out expanding its international operations in the future.

“Going forward, never say never,” Mr Soelistyo said. “But it's too early to say.”

In Indonesia, 37 per cent of all digital service consumers are new to the service due to Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Bain report.

Covid-induced restrictions have made it a “necessity” for merchants, suppliers and entrepreneurs to digitalise their businesses, Mr Soelistyo said.

Speaking about the outlook for e-commerce in Indonesia, Mr Cao said there is “a lot of room to grow” because it comprises just 8 to 10 per cent of household consumption compared with higher penetration in the US and China of up to 30 per cent.

“We've seen during the last few years, including during Covid, that the adoption of e-commerce has been very strong and the inflection point has really moved up in the past 10 to 20 months, there's a lot of needs-based demand, a lot of necessity-driven purchasing,” Mr Cao said, referring to a range of goods and services from e-groceries to online payments.

“There's a lot of room to grow,” he said.

Updated: November 5th 2021, 5:30 AM