Special Report: GoTo and the Super App Wars
GoTo, Sea, Grab and the battle for supremacy in Southeast Asia
My name is Mikal — I’m an early-stage tech investor and I was born in Asia, grew up in Africa and now live in the US. Every week I break down a fast-growing business in an emerging market to understand its product, market and growth strategy.
This week I’m breaking down the merger of Indonesian startups Gojek and Tokopedia. This piece was originally published here.
This week the Super App Wars in Southeast Asia reached a new level of competitive intensity. The long-rumoured merger between Indonesian ecommerce retailer Tokopedia (which I wrote about earlier this year) and Indonesian ridesharing and delivery giant GoJek was finally publicly announced. The new combined entity, called GoTo, will be valued at $18 billion and combines the forces and resources of two of Indonesia’s biggest startups.
The merger of GoJek and Tokopedia will create one of the largest technology companies in the world:
- Total Group Gross Transaction Value (GTV) of over $22 billion in 2020
- Over 1.8 billion transactions in 2020
- Total registered driver fleet of over two million as of December 2020
- Over 11 million merchant partners as of December 2020
- Over 100 million monthly active users (MAU)
- An ecosystem that encompasses 2% of Indonesia’s GDP
The creation of GoTo will now kick off a showdown between Super Apps in Southeast Asia between GoTo, Grab and Sea in a battle for supremacy. With Grab’s recently announced SPAC deal giving it $4 billion in fresh financing, Sea’s deep financial resources and GoTo’s planned IPO later this year the stage is set for a bruising battle between all three to become Southeast Asia’s dominant Super App.
Grab, Sea and GoTo
The core thesis of Super App businesses — first pioneered in China by WeChat — is to aggregate consumer attention and demand in one application…