Look out, Uber. It’s not just Didi Chuxing in China or Grab in Southeast Asia that should be keeping you up at night when it comes to the quest for world domination (in terms of taxi services) — there’s yet another competitor in Indonesia that is proving to be just as fierce. It’s called Go-Jek, and it looks like it’s getting close to raising a lot, and we mean a lot, of capital.
As first reported by The Information, the on-demand taxi service is closing in on a $1.2 billion funding round led by JD.com, the Chinese ecommerce giant that currently serves as Alibaba’s biggest competitor. Thanks to additional investments by Tencent, this new influx of capital could result in a $3 billion valuation for Go-Jek. Clearly, there are unicorns outside of Silicon Valley, too.
The details of the deal have been in the making for quite some time (as is generally the case with such large sums of money). TechCrunch initially broke the news of the funding round back in May when Tencent officially agreed to lead the deal. And given that JD.com is a well-reputed partner of Tencent’s, it comes as little surprise that the two are now working together on what they hope to be a lucrative investment.
While Go-Jek initially debuted as a motorbike taxi service, it’s quickly grown up and into a serious competitor to other ridesharing companies. It now has four-wheeled cars in its services, and also offers on-demand services like grocery delivery, massages, and others. The company says that it has 200,000 drivers throughout 25 cities in Indonesia, and while that’s currently the only market in which Go-Jek is active, this could change with its considerable funding.
Like rival Grab, Go-Jek is hoping to expand beyond taxi services by way of a digital payment system. This, the company hopes, could help riders engage with the app, and perhaps increase loyalty among customers who might otherwise go with one of the many other options now available in Southeast Asia.
Other investors already betting big on Go-Jek include U.S.-based firms such KKR, Warburg Pincus, and Sequoia Capital.
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