Gojek says it is still planning IPO, but not in near future

The ride-hailing app could opt for a dual listing, with IDX as its primary market


INDONESIA'S first startup unicorn Gojek said on Thursday it has no immediate plans to tap public markets, but is still planning a listing with the Indonesian exchange, the IDX, as its primary market and the possibility of a secondary listing elsewhere.

Andre Soelistyo, Gojek's new co-chief executive, did not divulge further details on the timing of the listing and float size or identify the secondary market during the media briefing in Jakarta, but said the firm has done "a lot of things in building better governance".

This comes at a time where investors and analysts are watching the ride-hailing giant closely. The firm announced on Monday a change in leadership structure, with co-founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim stepping down to join the country's president Joko Widodo as education and culture minister. Former president Andre Soelistyo and co-founder Kevin Aluwi have then stepped up as co-chief executives.

Mr Makarim will remain a passive shareholder in the company.

The 35-year-old co-founder has helmed the front seat of the US$10 billion startup for the past nine years, from its humble beginnings as a call centre arranging for couriers in Jakarta to one of South-east Asia's largest.

He leaves at a point of time when expansion is crucial, leaving the firm without its most prominent leader as it battles tough competition from regional rival Grab.

But, new joint-chief executive Mr Aluwi says that structures for succession planning have already been put in place in the firm, such that despite Mr Makarim's departure, it continues to be "business as usual".

Both CEOs emphasised in a statement released earlier this week that there will be "no disruption" in day-to-day operations.

Mr Soelistyo, the former president of the company, will oversee corporate functions, fundraising, international expansion and Gojek's payments and financial services business, while co-founder Mr Aluwi will take charge of product development, marketing, organisation development as well as transport and food delivery.

Moving forward, Mr Aluwi says Gojek is opting for a more regional play, aiming to fill up to half of its user base from outside Indonesia, and half from its home market.

Today, the super-app has a presence in five key countries - Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia.

However, it's largest market is still in its home country, where 80 per cent of its users live. Gojek also sees up to 29.2 million active users in Indonesia each month.

This is a far cry compared to the 800,000 monthly active users in Singapore, but Mr Aluwi says that the ride value here is around four to five times that of Indonesia's.

"What we've seen is that the value per ride and value per customer in dollar terms are significantly higher," he said. "Even though Singapore is a much smaller market, it is a very valuable one."

Gojek aims to launch more features for transportation in Singapore for the next quarter, but did not reveal its exact plans.

Singapore-based arch-rival Grab already has a suite of transportation features on its app, including GrabShare, GrabHitch and GrabCar6, which allow users to explore different options to traditional ride-hailing.

Gojek currently has only one standard ride-hailing function in Singapore - GoCar - where users can book a car for up to four people to a single destination.

In view of Grab's dominance in Singapore, Mr Aluwi says that Gojek is "quite happy" with its market share and growth here.

"The response has been absolutely tremendous," he said, adding that Gojek has managed to hit their millionth ride here in about three months.