Tokopedia CEO defends Gojek merger to lawmakers

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Indonesian e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia defended his plans to merge with ridesharing and fintech company Gojek in a rare hearing with the Indonesian parliament on Wednesday.

The idea behind what would be the biggest trade deal in Indonesian history came from the founders of Tokopedia and Gojek with the aim of competing with other global players, said Tokopedia founder and CEO William Tanuwijaya. .

Tokopedia and Gojek, Indonesia’s two most valued tech companies, announced their plan to merge in May to create tech powerhouse GoTo Group.

Tanuwijaya said the merger was never intended to control the domestic market, and people always had plenty of choice for similar services offered by both Tokopedia and Gojek.

“The merger of Tokopedia and Gojek is not a consolidation because in our industry similar companies are merging to consolidate the market,” Tanuwijaya told lawmakers who oversee commerce and industry.

“Gojek is in the transportation, food and payment system business and Tokopedia is in the market business… It would be a world power,” he said, noting that the merger was not encouraged. by its investors.

Tokopedia has raised around $ 2.8 billion from Alibaba Group, SoftBank, Google, Sequoia Capital India, among others, while Gojek has raised more than $ 5 billion in funding from leading investors including Google, Facebook, PayPal, Tencent and Visa.

GoTo claimed to have transactions worth around 2% of Indonesia’s gross domestic product within its platform.

“When combined, we can speed up, without laying people off, but rather absorbing more manpower. This is the story behind the merger, ”he said.

Tanuwijawa’s comment came after a lawmaker expressed concern over the merger.

Reuters first reported that the Indonesian Antitrust Agency (KPPU) had planned to review the merger to check for any potential monopoly behavior. Guntur Saragih, a KPPU commissioner, told DealStreetAsia that the agency had received the merger notification since August 9, but the assessment is ongoing.

The hearing was also held in person by Bukalapak CEO Rachmat Kaimuddin and Shopee Indonesia Executive Director Christin Djuarto. Gojek CEO and co-founder Kevin Aluwi joined the hearing via video call.


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