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Jakarta Post

Amazon in talks to invest in Indonesia’s Gojek

  • Yoolim Lee and Crystal Tse

    Bloomberg

Singapore   /   Thu, August 29, 2019   /   10:32 am
Amazon in talks to invest in Indonesia’s Gojek A Gojek driver explores the city while carrying GoFood orders. (JP/Arief Suhardiman)

Amazon.com Inc. is in talks to make an investment in Indonesian ride-hailing giant Gojek, people familiar with the negotiations said, a move that could bolster the US company’s presence in Southeast Asia.

Amazon is one of the firms that have been negotiating with Gojek to join its ongoing funding round, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private. Under one scenario that has been considered, Amazon may make a meaningful investment for a slice of Indonesia’s most valuable startup, said one of the people. The talks may still fall apart or the terms may change.

A Gojek representative declined to comment. Amazon couldn’t immediately be reached for comment outside of normal business hours. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported on the discussions.

The move could mark Amazon’s most significant investment in Indonesia, one of the last frontiers of e-commerce. The Seattle-based retail giant took its first step into the region in 2017 when it entered Singapore with Amazon Prime Now. But in Indonesia, by far the region’s biggest and most promising market with 260 million people, it has no presence.

By contrast, Chinese tech titans have made inroads into the region recently. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. spent billions of dollars to acquire online shopping company Lazada Group and invested in homegrown Indonesian e-commerce companies Tokopedia PT and Bukalapak. Tencent Holdings Ltd. has backed Sea Ltd., whose mobile shopping unit Shopee is battling fiercely with Lazada.

Gojek debuted its app for hailing motorbike taxis in Jakarta in 2015. Since then, the company has evolved into a “super app” – part ride-sharing service, part food-delivery business and part digital-wallet provider. It also offers a dozen other on-demand services such as booking a cleaner and medicine delivery.

As part of the ongoing Series F funding round, Gojek – valued at US$10 billion, according to CB Insights – has secured investments from Visa Inc., Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank Plc, Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co. this year. The terms of those deals were not disclosed.

Those investments added to more than $1 billion Gojek secured in a previous funding round earlier this year.