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Go-Jek buys Indonesian event management startup

Acquisition highlights ambitions beyond ride-hailing service

Go-Jek's founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim

JAKARTA -- Go-Jek on Tuesday said it is acquiring Indonesian ticketing management startup Locket for an undisclosed amount as the company known for its ride-hailing app continues to diversify beyond that highly competitive sector.

Go-Jek's smartphone app runs Go-Tix, a ticket booking service for movies, soccer matches and other events that can be paid for using the company's electronic wallet. The partnership with Locket, which sells technology-based services like electronic wristbands and data analytics to organizers, will help attract big events to the country, the two companies said in a news release.

"This collaboration will eventually be able to provide various services that can help promoters solve the main problems of an event," Go-Jek CEO Nadiem Makarim said. "With this partnership, the consumer experience of enjoying events and entertainment will be more intact. Ticket purchases, the atmosphere at the event location, as well as transacting at the location of the event, should be smoother, easier and more comfortable."

Go-Jek does not disclose the number of bookings that Go-Tix processes.

The acquisition is the latest sign of the company's ambitions to beef up services beyond its core ride-hailing business, which faces intense competition from Uber and Singapore-based Grab. The latter recently announced that it will raise $2.5 billion from the SoftBank Group and other investors.

Go-Jek launched its motorbike taxi hailing app in January 2015. Since then it has added more than a dozen services, including food delivery, grocery shopping, massage therapy and house cleaning. It launched an electronic wallet called Go-Pay last year that allows users to pay for some of the services without leaving the platform.

By offering a range of services, Go-Jek aims to make its app stickier. Its app has been downloaded 44 million times since it was launched in January 2015.

Go-Jek, backed by Sequoia Capital, KKR and other venture capital firms, has often taken the acquisition route in its fast-paced expansion drive. Since 2016, it has bought Indian software writer C42 Engineering, Indonesian payment startup MVCommerce and other businesses.

The company raised $550 million in 2016, a record for an Indonesian startup at the time. It has not commented on reports that surfaced in May that it has also raised more than $1 billion from Tencent and other investors.

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