Indonesian ride-hailing, delivery firm Gojek raises funds from Facebook, PayPal

04, Jun. 2020

Gojek driver waiting for passenger (Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash)
Gojek driver waiting for passenger (Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash)

JAKARTA, NNA – Indonesian ride-hailing and delivery service firm Gojek has raised funds from U.S. tech giants Facebook Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. to collaborate in accelerating digital payment services for a vast number of small businesses in Southeast Asia.

Gojek, whose service is the largest e-wallet in the world’s fourth most populous nation, announced the deal on Wednesday but did not reveal the size of the investment.

The two U.S. firms have joined Google, Tencent and others as investors in Gojek’s current fundraising. The Financial Times reported Facebook’s investment in the Indonesian startup as being “in the low hundred million dollars and takes Gojek’s current fundraising round to more than $3 billion,” citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Gojek’s payments business, GoPay, has long been focused on increasing access to the digital economy among micro, small and medium enterprises, the majority of which continue to rely on cash to operate, due to the region’s large unbanked population, it said in a statement.

“The latest influx of funding will support more of these businesses as they seek to digitise further, from micro-merchants selling wares on the street side up to large businesses looking to strengthen their digital payment infrastructure.”

Since launching its app in 2015, Gojek has digitized hundreds of thousands of merchants on its platform, providing them with access to more than 170 million users across Southeast Asia. Its payments business processes billions of transactions each year and it owns the largest e-wallet in Indonesia.

A large part of this is driven by GoFood, the largest food delivery service in Indonesia, as well as the expansion of GoPay into other sectors both within and outside the Gojek ecosystem, according to the statement.

“Gojek, WhatsApp and Facebook are indispensable services in Indonesia. Working together we can help bring millions of small businesses and the customers they serve into the largest digital economy in Southeast Asia,” Matt Idema, chief operating officer at WhatsApp, said in Gojek’s statement.

As part of its commercial agreement, PayPal’s payment capabilities will be integrated into Gojek’s services and the two companies will also collaborate to allow customers of GoPay, Gojek’s digital wallet, to gain access to PayPal’s network of more than 25 million merchants around the world, he added.

Google and Chinese internet services giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. are longstanding investors in Gojek. Both companies have collaborated on multiple Gojek projects since their first investments in 2018, according to the Indonesian firm.

In late April, Facebook announced it was investing $5.7 billion for a 9.99 percent stake in Indian digital firm Jio Platforms Ltd. to build a potentially game-changing business model on WhatsApp in one of the largest digital markets in the world.

Tapping into India's internet boom and growing e-commerce, Facebook is forging strategic partnerships with Jio Platforms which has been offering a slew of telecom and digital services under its umbrella to millions of users.

The deal includes a partnership with WhatsApp to grow businesses on the messaging service which is popularly used by hundreds of millions in India.

The world’s second most populous country is home to some of Facebook’s most thriving communities on WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.