Grab will secure a majority stake in Indonesian payments platform Ovo after buying shares from Tokopedia and Lippo Group, according to Bloomberg. After the transaction, Grab’s ownership of Ovo will go from its present 39% to 90%.
The rumors about Tokopedia’s divestment from Ovo began circulating after Gojek merged with Tokopedia in May. Ovo is seen by some as the most complicated moving part of the GoTo merger, because Bank Indonesia prohibits one party from holding a controlling interest in multiple payment platforms. Tokopedia currently partners with both Ovo and GoPayLater for payment methods in the e-commerce platform.
Ovo confirmed the restructuring of its ownership. “We welcome a greater commitment from Grab in Ovo. We’re working in close consultation with the regulators to complete the ownership restructuring process, and are confident this will allow us to better serve the financial services needs of Indonesians,” the company’s spokesperson told KrASIA.
Grab’s majority ownership in Ovo will intensify competition between Grab and GoTo.
Besides Ovo, Grab also has an alliance with e-commerce firm Bukalapak, which went public in August. Grab and Emtek—a backer of Bukalapak—have invested in each other’s businesses.
Ovo is a leading payment platform in Indonesia. It holds a 31% market share, according to a report by Kadence International. This is followed by GoPay (25%), ShopeePay (20%), Dana (19%), and LinkAja (4%). Jaygan Fu Ponnudurai was recently appointed as Ovo’s new CEO to replace Jason Thompson, who stepped down in September. Ponnudurai is a former Grab executive who has held several senior positions in the company, including country head of Malaysia and deputy regional head of two wheels business, before joining Ovo in 2018 as COO.