Carnegie Mellon University

Patrick Cao, President, GoTo

Empowering Progress in Southeast Asia

“We facilitate over $30 billion in transactions every year for our customers and are growing at a massive clip,” Patrick Cao (TPR 2006) says. “In 2021, we helped contribute to over 2% of Indonesia’s GDP.”

He’s talking about GoTo Group, formed through the combination of Gojek and Tokopedia last May. Cao is president of GoTo and leading the way for Indonesia’s most valuable technology company to IPO this year.

GoTo serves a population that is only a little smaller than the United States, and its services are a mix of Amazon, DoorDash, Uber and PayPal. Its model is unique, in that it comprises the market leaders in on-demand, e-commerce and financial services, all in one integrated ecosystem. GoTo is powered by marketplace technology that connects consumers, merchants and drivers to serve daily needs across mobility, food and grocery delivery, e-commerce, logistics, payments and financial services.

“We're empowering progress for customers in the digital economy,” Patrick says. “No matter where you are in Indonesia, consumers can access essential goods and services, and merchants can sell to consumers anywhere across the archipelago because of our technology. We're here to support the local ecosystem and create economic value.”

The heart of GoTo is its technology and infrastructure, which helps restaurants to deliver food and merchants of all sizes to sell their goods. A network of Uber-style drivers makes the deliveries and is augmented by rental space in cloud kitchens and fulfillment centers. The result is a vast network of smaller, more distributed hubs. This approach is a game changer for Indonesia because the model makes commerce hyperlocal and opens economic opportunities for emerging markets that would never be feasible with a more traditional first-party sales model.

Patrick joined Tokopedia in 2016 as CFO to lead finance and investments as well as the merger and funding that ultimately formed GoTo Group.

“Right now, e-commerce penetration in Indonesia is under 10% of household consumption, and financial services adoption is in the low single digits. Imagine if you could get to the same penetration levels as the U.S. or China. The contribution to the economy is massive,” he says. “It's an immense opportunity. It's a lot of responsibility, but it's also a lot of fun.”

Story by Elizabeth Speed