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German insurer Allianz buys $35m stake in Go-Jek

Competition in Indonesia's ride-hailing market intensifies after Uber exit

Go-Jek had 1 million motorbike and car drivers in Indonesia as of December. (Photo by Shinya Sawai)

NUSA DUA, Bali -- German insurance company Allianz Group has invested $35 million in Go-Jek, a welcome boost for the Indonesian ride-hailing platform amid fierce competition in its home country with Singapore-based Grab.

The investment, made by the insurer's digital investment unit, was announced on Wednesday. Allianz's Indonesian unit had already entered a strategic partnership with Go-Jek, whereby it provided health insurance services to drivers and their families.

"Through this investment, Allianz and Go-Jek will strengthen their ties and collaboration further," said Joos Louwerier, President Director of Allianz Life Indonesia. "Together we can offer unique financial products and services to the wider Go-Jek community."

Go-Jek was not immediately available for comment.

Allianz's investment follows that of Astra International, Indonesia's leading car-to-banking conglomerate, which invested $150 million in the ride-hailing operator in February. Other investors include Google, Tencent Holdings, investment company KKR and venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital.

The injection of funds comes as the competition in the Indonesian ride-hailing market becomes a two horse race. U.S. company Uber Technologies pulled out of much of Southeast Asia earlier this month.

Indonesia is a crucial market for both Grab and Go-Jek. A report by Google and Singaporean state investment company Temasek Holdings in December claimed that Southeast Asia's ride-hailing market had more than doubled to $5.1 billion in 2017 from $2.5 billion in 2015, and would reach $20.1 billion by 2025. Indonesia, the region's largest economy and most populous country, is expected to account for the bulk of the growth.

Both Go-Jek and Grab have been trying to lure former Uber drivers to register with their service. Go-Jek operated recruitment stalls in Jakarta and its satellite cities in the week of Uber's exit. Grab, on the other hand, made an online registration procedure available that took just one day to complete.

Go-Jek launched its smartphone app in early 2015. The app has since evolved into an on-demand platform for two- and four-wheeler taxis, food delivery, couriers and more, most of which can be paid for through the company's electronic wallet Go-Pay.

GrabPay, a similar platform, remains suspended pending review from the Indonesian central bank.

Go-Jek had one million motorbike and car drivers in Indonesia as of December, according to the company. Grab claimed it had 2.4 million drivers across eight Southeast Asian countries in March.

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