Indonesia tech giant GoTo soars on market debut

Indonesia's biggest tech firm soared on its market debut yesterday after a billion-dollar initial public offer (IPO) that was the world's fifth-biggest this year, defying recent heavy weather for Asian tech stocks.

GoTo, the largest digital ecosystem in the archipelago nation of 270 million people, was formed by the merger of ride-hailing company Gojek and e-commerce platform Tokopedia in May 2021.

Clad in the signature black-and-green jacket of a Gojek driver, GoTo CEO Andre Soelistyo pressed the 9:00 a.m. opening bell at the Jakarta stock exchange.

"Despite global market volatility, investor interest has been strong, reflecting the rapidly growing demand in Southeast Asia for our on-demand, e-commerce and financial technology services, as well as confidence in GoTo's position as the largest digital ecosystem in Indonesia," he said in a press release.

The company raised about $1.1 billion in its IPO that concluded last week, priced at 338 rupiah a share, representing a market value of about $28 billion, it announced.

It has sold shares for $954.7 million (13.7 trillion rupiah) plus $146.3 million from treasury shares for the purpose of over-allotment.

Based on the total funds raised, GoTo's IPO is the third-largest in Asia and fifth-largest in the world this year, it said.

The company announced last week it would distribute shares worth about $21.6 million to hundreds of thousands of its drivers.

Last year, another Indonesian unicorn, Bukalapak, launched the biggest initial offering in the history of the country's stock market, raising more than $1.5 billion.

However, shares in the online marketplace have since dropped by around 60 percent, instilling doubts in the Southeast Asian tech sector.

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