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From Warung to Wall Street: Indo tech IPO prospects with Andy Tai of Goldman Sachs | The Indo Tekno Podcast

What important milestones do Indonesia’s tech companies need to achieve to get the IPO pipeline flowing?

The Indo Tekno podcast is hosted by Alan Hellawell, who is the founder of Gizmo Advisors and a venture partner at Alpha JWC Ventures. In this week’s episode, Alan talks to Andy Tai of Goldman Sachs about the IPO prospects of Indonesian companies.

Alan Hellawell worked with Andy Tai and the Goldman Sachs team when he was chief strategy officer at Sea Group in the run up to the October 2017 IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Goldman assisted Sea Group with a number of other post-IPO fundraising exercises throughout 2018.

Hellawell points out that, currently, there are more than 160 Chinese companies listed in the US, most of them internet and e-commerce names, with a market value of roughly USD 1.5 trillion. Southeast Asia has listed exactly one single internet company, Sea Group, with a market cap of USD 50 billion—a massive disparity, as he calls it.

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Tai compares Southeast Asia now with China 20 or 30 years ago. “We are very bullish around Southeast Asia because it is probably the next key area of growth and technology adoption as well.” For him, it’s just a matter of time until there will be more companies listed in the US.

Looking at Indonesia, Tai mentions that it has always been at the top of investors lists. “Where investors need to understand more from the tech companies is really around execution, and how they drive the consumer into a very digital environment,” he says.

Tech companies in Indonesia need to focus on maintaining high top line revenue growth and strong user engagement. “More important is a pivot to real profitability as well,” Tai says. When is the right time to start monetizing the user base? When is the right time to focus less on growth, by really pivoting to that mindset about generating profitability? He thinks that this will give Indonesian companies a very strong premium valuation in the public markets.

Listen to the full podcast here.

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