Indonesia's GoTo raises $1.3 bln ahead of local IPO amid tech boom

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SINGAPORE, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Indonesia's biggest tech firm GoTo Group said on Thursday it had secured more than $1.3 billion in the first close of its pre-IPO funding round, which two sources said could launch in the first half of next year.

GoTo, formed by merging ride-hailing-to-payments firm Gojek and e-commerce leader Tokopedia, said in a statement on Thursday that Chinese buyout firm Primavera Capital, Malaysia's largest fund manager Permodalan Nasional Bhd and Fidelity International had come in as new investors.

Existing GoTo backers including Alphabet's Google , Tencent (0700.HK) and Singapore state investor Temasek also participated in the funding. Last month, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority agreed to lead the pre-IPO funding with a $400 million investment.

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GoTo said more investors are expected to join the pre-IPO fundraising round ahead of the final close in the coming weeks.

Southeast Asia is one of the world's fastest growing internet markets, due to a young population, rapid smartphone usage and a growing middle class. But competition is intensifying and tech companies are bulking up.

Goto is likely to be valued at nearly $30 billion after raising about $2 billion in the funding round, said the sources, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

A U.S. listing will follow after the Indonesian IPO, the sources said. GoTo declined to comment on the timing of the IPO, and the total funding and valuation.

GoTo's planned local listing comes at a time when investor excitement is running high on tech firms, which have benefited from consumers flocking to digital platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grab, the region's biggest ridehailing and food delivery firm, clinched a $40 billion merger with a U.S. blank check company in April, while Singapore-based regional internet firm Sea Ltd (SE.N), which runs e-commerce platform Shopee, is also muscling into food delivery and financial services.

Indonesian fundraising via IPOs is at its highest in a decade, with companies raising $2.3 billion so far this year, according to data from Refinitiv.

In August, e-commerce firm Bukalapak (BUKA.JK)made its debut as the country's first listed tech unicorn after raising $1.5 billion in Indonesia's largest IPO.

GoTo's biggest investors include Alibaba Group Holding (9988.HK), SoftBank Vision Fund 1, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, Google and Tencent.

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Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Jan Harvey

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