Indonesia's GoTo defies market volatility with $1.3 billion IPO

SINGAPORE/JAKARTA (Reuters) -Indonesia’s biggest tech firm GoTo Group is braving weak global markets with a public offering of up to $1.3 billion this month, marking the country’s second-biggest issue ever amid strong local investor interest for technology stocks.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past screen at the Indonesia Stock Exchange building in Jakarta, Indonesia, September 6, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

Formed by the merger of ride-hailing-to-payments firm Gojek and e-commerce leader Tokopedia in Southeast Asia’s largest economy last year, GoTo counts SoftBank Group Corp, Alibaba Group and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC among its many backers.

The widely expected IPO comes after GoTo secured $1.3 billion in a pre-IPO funding exercise in late 2021 when Abu Dhabi Investment Authority came in as the lead investor.

“GoTo is still in early adoption, with market penetration rates relatively lower than developing countries,” Andre Soelistyo, GoTo’s CEO told an investor briefing on Tuesday.

GoTo had reviewed its business performance, market outlook and the volatility in global markets caused by the Ukraine crisis before deciding to launch its up to 17.992 trillion rupiah ($1.26 billion) IPO, company executives told reporters.

“When the markets recover, our ability to tap into the markets will be much faster as a listed company,” said Soelistyo, adding that some investors had agreed to an eight-month lock-up for share sales.

GoTo plans to sell up to 52 billion new Series A shares and set a price range of 316 rupiah to 346 rupiah per share for the issue. It is selling up to 4.35% of its enlarged capital, its prospectus shows.

At the top end, it will be valued at nearly $29 billion, making it Indonesia’s fourth-biggest listed firm. The book building process starts on Tuesday and ends on March 21, with April 4 set as the estimated listing date.

The IPO comes despite a fall in global equities and after companies delayed fundraising plans as the crisis in Ukraine pushes up commodity prices, threatening economic growth.


Investor concerns over profitability have pummelled tech stocks. Shares in GoTo’s competitor, Internet services firm Sea Ltd have lost 75% in five months, while Grab Holdings has plunged 70% since it listed in the United States last year after a $40 billion merger with a blank check firm.

With over 2.5 million registered driver partners, 14 million registered merchants and 55 million annual transacting users as of Sept. 30, GoTo’s businesses straddle the Indonesian economy’s millions of small and medium-sized enterprises.

“We are glad to sit on the front row seat of witnessing the Indonesian dream. Given its size and scale, GoTo is the real test for the Indonesia Stock Exchange,” said Willson Cuaca, co-founder of East Ventures and an early backer of Tokopedia.

Southeast Asia’s internet economy is forecast to double to $360 billion in gross merchandise value by 2025 from end-2021, prompting GoTo, Grab and Sea to all bulk up.

GoTo executives remain upbeat on growth prospects.

“Indonesia is one of the largest and most exciting growth markets in the world, as reflected in the resilience our capital market has shown this year, against a backdrop of global market volatility,” said Soelistyo.

The commodity-heavy Indonesian market is bucking a global downtrend, with the local index up 5% so far this year after rising to a record high in recent weeks.

Last year, Indonesian fundraising via IPOs rose to its highest in a decade, fuelled by investor interest in tech firms that led to a larger-than-expected $1.5 billion IPO by e-commerce firm Bukalapak in August.

Soelistyo said GoTo had a clear road to profitability, but he declined to give a forecast.

GoTo’s losses before taxes widened by 7% to 12.3 trillion rupiah in the nine months to September from a year earlier.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, food delivery, e-commerce and payment services have seen explosive growth in Indonesia, with investors rushing to back fast-growing companies.

GoTo said its pro forma gross revenue grew at a compound annual growth rate of 56% between 2018 and 2020 and 55% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021. It reported gross revenue of 15.1 trillion rupiah in the year ending Sept. 30.

The company is the first to take advantage of multiple voting rights allowed by its regulator.

PT Indo Premier Sekuritas, PT Mandiri Sekuritas and PT Trimegah Sekuritas Indonesia are the IPO’s joint lead underwriters.

($1 = 14,325.0000 rupiah)

Writing by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Stephen Coates, Kenneth Maxwell and Susan Fenton