The rumor of the merger between Gojok and Tokopeida is exposed

In January 2021, Nikkei Asia reported that the potential merger between Gojek and Tokopedia is discussed.

JAKARTA — Two of Indonesia’s largest tech companies, Gojek and Tokopedia, are in discussions over a merger, with a view to an initial public offering, as they gear up to confront the region’s biggest tech company, Singapore’s Sea, Nikkei Asia has learned.

The talks come as superapp provider Gojek’s merger negotiations with Singapore-based rival Grab hit a snag, due to Grab founder and CEO Anthony Tan playing hardball and Grab’s biggest financial backer SoftBank Group’s Masayoshi Son losing patience, according to two people familiar with the matter. SoftBank is also Tokopedia’s largest shareholder, and one person said Son has “given his blessing” to a Gojek-Tokopedia deal.

Who is Gojek?

Based on its homepage, the history of Gojek is described as follows.

Gojek was founded in 2010 as a call centre to optimize the service of motorcycle taxis (ojeks) in Indonesia. Ojeks, till today, form a crucial part of Indonesia’ informal economy. We started with a fleet of only 20 motorcycle taxis, along with the belief that these drivers could do more than just transport people, if they are a part of a system that enables trust and transparency.

With the principle of using technology to improve the lives of users, the Gojek app was launched in Indonesia in January 2015, offering motorbike ride-hailing (GoRide), courier (GoSend), and personal shopping (GoMart) services. Today, Gojek has expanded our mission of removing life’s daily frictions and transformed into a super app: a one-stop platform with more than 20 services, connecting over 170 million users across the region with over 2 million driver-partners and 500,000 GoFood merchants.

With the insights and experiences gained from being the pioneer and leader in Indonesia, we have successfully scaled our business across five countries in Southeast Asia.

Gojek began its services in Thailand in 2019, under the brand GET. This hyper-local approach helped us gain a deep understanding of the needs of Thais. Since 2020, GET has unified with the bigger Gojek umbrella so we can more effectively innovate at scale and create more integrated solutions to life’s everyday issues.

Gojek is dedicated to solving the daily challenges faced by consumers, while improving the quality of life for millions of people across Southeast Asia, especially those in the informal sector and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Who is Tokopedia?

According to its homepage, company story of Tokopedia is described in the following way.

Our founders, William Tanuwidjaya and Leon Alpha Edison, went through the same cycle and experienced the same challenge. They thought, in order to stop this vicious cycle, something has to be done to shorten the gap between big cities and small cities.


On August 17, 2009, they launched Tokopedia with the mission to democratize commerce through technology.

Will Capitalism be changed?

Battles of ride hailing apps occurs from country to country. For example, Uber, which is founded in 2009, competes with the other American service, Lift, which is founded in 2012. Another example is that Uber fought against Chinese ride-hailing super app, Didi Chuxing in China severely and Uber lost the competition as a result. The other example in Southeast Asian countries, this article’ main character, Gojek, competes with Singaporean technology giant, Grab in some countries.

However, due to the pandemic, the ride-hailing companies around the globe face the difficult time because many countries impose the strict restrictions to avoid the spread of the virus, and because people cannot move or travel freely or do not want to do so. On the contrary, the demand of e-commerce surges in 2020 and, as we see Nikkei Asia’s report, Sea is without exception. Share price of the Singaporean IT giant becomes about 40 US dollars in January 2020 to about 200 US dollars in December 2020. As a result, the company has more power to access capital and this ability makes the competition more intensified.

In 2020, many people experienced and thought of inequality. In the same year, a lot of people keep the words, “sustainability” and “shareholder capitalism”, in their mind. As for shareholder capitalism, we can see the other article. However, it seems that the rumor between Gojek and Tokopedia does not reflect this trend but show the fact that the size of businesses, organizations and assets are necessary to compete in capitalism. To realize more sustainable society, will capitalism be changed?