Gojek plans dual listing after CEO named to Jokowi cabinet

October 25, 2019 12:16
Gojek's new co-CEOs (from left) Kevin Aluwi and Andre Soelistyo took over the helm of the company from Nadiem Makarim, who was appointed Indonesia's new education and culture minister. Photo: Gojek/Reuters

Indonesian ride-hailing and payments giant Gojek is preparing for a dual listing after its co-founder and chief executive Nadiem Makarim stepped down to join the second-term cabinet of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Andre Soelistyo, the company's new CEO, said in a media briefing on Thursday that the primary listing will be in the home country, as Gojek wants to provide "the opportunity for Indonesian investors to participate", but he did not mention a preferred market for the secondary listing, saying it will be made elsewhere “if opportunity permits”.

No timeframe has been set for the planned initial public offering.

Soelistyo and Gojek co-founder Kevin Aluwi took over the helm of the company from Makarim, who was appointed education and culture minister on Wednesday.

Gojek’s dual listing plan comes after coworking space giant WeWork’s fiasco: WeWork’s parent The We Company has shelved its listing plans after its potential IPO valuation plunged. Its founder Adam Neumann was ousted, with its largest shareholder SoftBank buying out his shares and taking over the company.

Soelistyo said the firm has made significant progress on business sustainability to be ready for an IPO, moving away from the cash-burning model.

“Many of our core products in Indonesia have gone into positive contribution margin, which means every transaction now we make money," he said. “Obviously, we are cognizant about what is happening in the world… We’ve done a lot of things in building better governance.”

Gojek, founded in 2010 as a ride-hailing service, has evolved into a one-stop app that enables users to also make online payments and order food and services such as massages.

The company has recorded 29.2 million monthly active users in Indonesia alone, and 36.3 million across Southeast Asia, while competing with close rival Singapore-based, SoftBank-funded Grab.

Gojek is the second Indonesian unicorn (private companies worth more than US$1 billion) to seek a dual listing, after homegrown e-commerce firm Tokopedia.

On Makarim's departure, the two new co-CEOs said it has not disrupted the firm’s operations. Structures are in place for succession planning at all levels, Aluwi said, adding that he and Soelistyo will take a different approach, transforming Gojek from a startup to “an enduring company”.

"I think what we bring to the table is a much more measured approach," Aluwi said, “a lot more process-driven, to really focus the company on the right things versus probably too much experimentation in adjacent things".

The two CEOs said Makarim will remain a passive shareholder in the firm, with no advisory or executive role.

According to a company statement, Soelistyo will oversee corporate functions, fundraising, international expansion, and Gojek’s payments and financial services business, while Aluwi will take charge of product development, marketing, organization development, and transport and food delivery.

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BN/CG