Indonesia's Go-Jek gets a lift from Tencent, JD.com funding
Motorcycle taxi service may expand overseas within 3 years, exec says
WATARU SUZUKI, Nikkei staff writer
The two financial backers appeared on a slide during a speech by Antoine de Carbonnel, Go-Jek's chief commercial officer, to an audience of Japanese investors and Indonesian startups. The seminar was sponsored by the Japan External Trade Organization and Indonesia's Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, amid growing interest in the country's startups.
Earlier media reports had said that Tencent invested between $100 million and $150 million in Go-Jek, while JD.com chipped in $100 million, as part of a $1 billion fundraising round by Go-Jek. The slide hinted that the deals will be completed by the third quarter of this year.
The deals underscore Chinese internet companies' interest in Indonesia's burgeoning startup scene. In August, local e-commerce company Tokopedia announced that it will receive $1.1 billion in funding from Alibaba Group Holding and others. JD.com, meanwhile, has invested in Traveloka, an Indonesian online travel agency.
Carbonnel did not refer directly to Tencent or JD.com in his speech. Go-Jek did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Go-Jek was founded in 2010 and rolled out its smartphone app in January 2015, mainly offering motorbike ride-hailing. It later added a wide range of services, including parcel and food delivery, and grocery shopping.
After these services gained traction, Go-Jek rolled out an e-wallet in April 2016 that can be used to pay for many of its serivcies. It became Indonesia's most highly valued technology company in August of the same year, when it raised $550 million from investment funds KKR, Warburg Pincus and others.
Carbonnel said that the app had been downloaded 52 million times and that the company offers 16 services. It "will be launching two more services this year," he added.
Carbonnel also said Go-Jek may expand beyond Indonesia within three years. The move would represent a major shift from its current strategy of growing domestically. "One of the choices that we made as a company -- is we wanted to focus on Indonesia," he said, noting the different environments in different Indonesian provinces. "We felt that when you leave your country, it takes a lot of management time."
He called on the government to "continue massive investment infrastructure, deregulation and simplification of tax regimes."