More giants pour money into Indonesia's Go-Jek

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - If attracting investment from tech titan Google is not enough, ride-hailing application Go-Jek has persuaded major Indonesian companies that investing in the firm means good business.

Publicly listed diversified conglomerate Astra International on Monday announced it is investing US$150 million in Go-Jek, formally PT Aplikasi Karya Anak Bangsa, adding to the list of big companies investing millions of dollars in the tech startup.

On the same day, Djarum Group’s subsidiary PT Global Digital Niaga (GDN), the owner of major e-commerce platform Blibli.com, stated that it would become Go-Jek’s newest investor, though it had yet to provide the exact figure of investment.

Astra president director Prijono Sugiarto said he was highly impressed by Go-Jek’s efforts in maintaining its success, adding that the ride-hailing app’s determination to keep on innovating and thus developing the country was something that moved him.

“I felt very proud when I read Fortune’s [magazine] ‘Change the World’ list and saw Go-Jek’s name there,” Prijono said at a press conference on Monday.

Go-Jek founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim said the investment from Astra was its largest to date, adding that the funds would be used to build more innovations and help Indonesia develop as a superpower in Southeast Asia.

Nadiem said the partnership with Astra would involve vehicle distribution and financing, but declined to provide further detail.

Meanwhile, GDN CEO Kusumo Martanto said the investment his company had made in Go-Jek was long-term and had significant value, adding that it was one of the investors helping in the first round of the tech startup’s fund raising.

He said GDN and Go-Jek would collaborate in three areas, namely technological innovation in logistics services, merchandising and new product development.

“We have collaborated with Go-Jek in several features such as Go-Send and Go-Points, and we see that Go-Jek shares many similarities with us,” he said.

“Both of us are providers of [e-commerce] platforms and provide access for many micro, small and medium enterprises [SMEs], so we want to help SMEs grow,” he said.

George Hendrata, GDN’s director of business diversification, said the company was open to the possibility of investing in Go-Jek’s next round of fund raising.

As Go-Jek has attracted big investments in its first round of fund raising this year, its co-founder Andre Soelistyo said the funds would be used to expand its operations to more cities, especially in the eastern part of Indonesia, from the current 50 cities it operates in, while also developing more innovations this year.

One form of such innovations would be forming a hub and academy for young Indonesian engineers to learn programming, data science and other skills, he said.

Tech titan Alphabet Inc.’s Google recently confirmed its investment in Go-Jek to tap into enormous business opportunities in the country, which has the fifth-largest number of internet users in the world.

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