Indonesia: Go-Jek scores JD.com investment as ride-hailing war rages on
JD.COM, the Chinese conglomerate rival to Alibaba, has reportedly invested big bucks in Indonesian startup, Go-Jek, as it looks to capitalize on the potential in the massive market, reports Reuters.
Go-Jek has reportedly received US$100 million in investment funds from a handful of investors including JD.com, private equity firm KKR & Co. LP, Warburg Pincus LLC. and storied venture capitalists Sequoia Capital. This latest round will bring Go-Jek to a valuation of US$2.5 billion, making it one of the most highly valued startups in the region.
Go-Jek will mark the latest investment by JD.com, who is targeting the archipelago nation of Indonesia as a base. Earlier in the year, JD.com invested in Indonesian e-commerce leader, Tokopedia, as well as travel startup Traveloka. Thus far, all of JD.com’s investments in Southeast Asia appear to be focused on Indonesia’s massive market of 260 million people, many of whom are some of the tech-savviest individuals around.
Go-Jek began life as a ride-hailing service for motorcycle taxis and has since expanded their empire to include food and medicine deliveries, as well as a miscellany of other services including massages, cleaners and manicurists. The company is also working on its own mobile payments platform.
All these services have been bundled under the company’s “Go-Life” brand. Indonesian Go-Jek has most of the market cornered at this point and their localized offerings have given competitors Grab and Uber a run for their money.
JD.com’s move to invest in Go-Jek marks yet another move by a Chinese technology giant intent on expanding its sphere of influence. Recently, social media and gaming titan Tencent invested an estimated US$150 million into Go-Jek, while Alibaba has been feeding cash into Go-Jek’s rival, Grab.
The battle to conquer the Southeast Asian ride-hailing industry is one of many fronts of a proxy war being waged between these Chinese tech conglomerates. Aside from ride hailing, Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and JD.com are investing huge sums of money into startups in e-commerce, artificial intelligence, travel and food delivery.