Go-Jek Raises funding to battle Uber and Grab

Go-Jek, the on-demand motorbike taxi service in Indonesia has raised $550 million in funding, reports Tech Crunch.

The deal will value Go-Jek at $1.3 billion.

The company plans to spend the money growing its services businesses, and continue to compete with fierce rivals in Indonesia. Sources suggests that this round will not fund an expansion outside of Indonesia.

The startup’s existing investors include Sequoia Capital, DST Global and Singapore based NSI Ventures.

The deal makes Go-Jek one of the few unicorns in Southeast Asia. Other tech companies valued in excess of $1 bullion include Garena ($3.75 billion), Grab ($1.6 billion) and Lazada ($1.5 billion).

Go-Jek was founded 2010, but didn’t take-off in a big way until 2014. It then accelerated following the launch of its mobile app in early 2015.

Go-Jek claims 200,000 motorbike drivers in its fleet across Indonesia to serve the world’s fourth largest country with a population of more than 250 million people.

The company is best known for hailing motorbike taxis on demand, a type of transportation popular in parts of Southeast Asia where heavy urban traffic makes two wheels faster than four.

Demand is particularly high in Jakarta, which is home to some 30 million people and is one of the planet’s most congested cities.

Go-Jek has stated that it processed 20 million booking requests in June 2016, around 667,000 per day.

Go-Jek Biggest Competitors

Grab introduced GrabBike to Indonesia last year, and Uber’s Ubermoto launched in Indonesia this year. However, Go-Jek is acknowledged to be the market leader.

Internal documents viewed by TechCrunch show that Go-Jek had $104 million in cash on its books as of March and that it spent $73 million over the previous six-month period. This new raise is hugely important if it is to continue to compete with its cash-rich rivals on subsidies and marketing.

The news of the fundraising has come at a time for ride-hailing services as Uber and Didi are currently tied up in a complex buying bid, with latest news announcing that Didi has invested in Grab’s newest round of funding.

A version of this appeared in Tech Crunch on August 4. Read the full version here.

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