Jeffrey Seah, partner at Quest Ventures, said the advertising and marketing industries are traditionally organised by geography for decision-making and budget allocation. Ecosystem partnerships across geography markets have been entered into by multinational companies and regional brands, but traction of joint business plans (JBP) are often not uniform outside of host market. A Gojek-Tokopedia merger will allow marketers to enter into JBPs for the Indonesian market at the levels of Google or Facebook, which Seah said is “a scale unseen before in the marketing and data world”.
“The economic and ecosystem value realisation for a Gojek-Tokopedia merger will be more than the sum-of-the-parts approach, and concurrently provide a stronger pedestal ramp for future Indonesian ecosystem-originate maturing tech companies to exit,” he explained.
On the surface, both companies seem like a good fit for Gojek given their prominence in the industry. However, our experts say a Gojek-Tokopedia would make more sense. According to Quest Ventures’ Seah, a Gojek-Tokopedia merger will “reinforce Indonesia’s Pancasila state ideology” formulated by former President Sukarno. Pancasila comprises principles which include the unity of Indonesia and the idea of being governed by wise policies. According to Seah, a merger between the two Indonesian companies will been seen as the pride of an Indonesian government-led company driving an independent Indonesia economy.
“From an ecosystem development and start-up talent pride angle, Gojek-Tokopedia will be more welcomed and preferred for the vast and expansive Indonesian ecosystem. From a nationalistic angle, these two companies have rejuvenated the Indonesian formal employment market, raised access consumption, and brought about green shoots in the diversification of the Indonesian economy away from natural resources,” Seah explained. Compared to a merger with Grab, or as what Grab CEO Anthony Tan terms an “acquisition” in his internal note to employees, Seah said the cultural fit and speed of integration “will definitely be more frictionless” between Gojek and Tokopedia.