GoTo growth tops 50% in first report since US$1.1 billion IPO

SINGAPORE – GoTo Group posted about 53 per cent gross revenue growth in its first quarterly report as a public company, accelerating from the 2021 pace and highlighting the rapid expansion of ’s tech and online industries.

Gross revenue advanced to 5.2 trillion rupiah in the quarter though March, the ride-hailing and e-commerce operator said Monday in a statement. For the calendar year 2021, the metric rose at about a 44 per cent clip on a pro-forma basis. GoTo’s quarterly adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization widened to 5.4 trillion rupiah.

GoTo is trying to convince investors of its growth prospects even as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, soaring inflation and rising interest rates weigh on the technology industry globally.

The company raised US$1.1 in one of the world’s largest public offerings for 2022, gaining funds to compete against rivals such as Grab Holdings Ltd. as online services gain steam in Southeast Asia.

GoTo is the largest of a crop of companies seeking to ride the rapid pace of mobile penetration and internet use in Southeast Asia, a region of more than 650 million people. Yet chief executive officer Andre Soelistyo still needs to reassure investors of the company’s earnings potential amid heavy spending to fend off competition and lure more users.

The company is the result of last year’s merger between ’s two most valuable internet startups – ride-hailing provider Gojek and e-commerce firm Tokopedia – to get more firepower against rivals in an increasingly cutthroat market. Over the years, the two amassed a long list of investors, including Google, Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Sequoia Capital India.

GoTo is among Southeast Asian consumer-internet companies that are adding users at a rapid clip but have yet to generate sustainable profit. The company is enjoying a leadership position in Indonesia, a country of more than 270 million people whose mobile-savvy consumers are shopping on Tokopedia’s platform and ordering rides and food via Gojek’s app.

That has helped its shares outperform those of Grab, which became a publicly traded company through a merger with a U.S. special purpose acquisition vehicle late last year. GoTo shares have lost about 7 per cent since its IPO, valuing the company at more than US$25 billion. Grab, down about 70 per cent since its SPAC merger, has a market capitalization of less than US$10 billion.

Gross revenue from on-demand services, which include ride-hailing, grew 58 per cent to 3.1 trillion rupiah in the first quarter.

E-commerce gross revenue grew 53 per cent to 1.9 trillion rupiah.

Its financial technology services business grew about 41 per cent thanks to record GoPay users and GTV volumes.

The overall first-quarter take rate increased to 3.7 per cent from 3.5 per cent, credited to more monetization initiatives.

Total net revenue, which strips out incentives such as discounts for users, advanced 5.6 per cent to 1.5 trillion rupiah.

GoTo’s gross transaction value, the sum of transactions flowing through its platform, grew 46 per cent to 140 trillion rupiah. Fintech services was the biggest contributor at about 55 per cent.

In the second quarter, gross transaction value is set to increase to as much as 150 trillion rupiah, CEO Soelistyo said on a conference call.

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