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Against all odds, Gojek raises $1.2B to lock horns with Grab

Against all odds, Gojek raises $1.2B to lock horns with Grab

Gojek has raised $1.2 billion in fresh capital and increased its Series F round total to just under $3 billion.
Indonesia’s ride-hailing major Gojek has raised $1.2 billion in fresh capital and increased its Series F round total to just under $3 billion, according to an internal memo sent by its co-CEOs on Tuesday.  The round was closed last week, said Andre Soelistyo and Kevin Aluwi in a joint memo. No investor names were disclosed.  With that financing round, the startup went on to deepen its business penetration in homeland Indonesia, while growing its presence across markets in Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand. Gojek also entered Philippines with that round. The Gojek co-CEOs indicated the round is not closed yet. “We’re not stopping there as we are still seeing strong demand among the investment community to partner with us. There are a number of exciting ongoing conversations that we will be able to update you on very soon,” they wrote in the memo.  The firm made the first close of its ongoing Series F round at $1 billion early last year and disclosed unspecified investments from Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance and payments major Visa in July. The new financing was finalized just over the past week, when the Covid-19 outbreak quickened its spread and triggered market routs across the globe. That took the total raised in its current financing round to just under $3 billion, the company said in an internal memo  Gojek’s new funding marks one of the largest deals to emerge since the novel coronavirus erupted in central China in January, exacerbating economic uncertainty and chilling deal activity the world over. It comes at a time investors have grown increasingly wary about tech valuations, underscored by SoftBank Group Corp.’s struggle to justify lofty price tags for erstwhile high-flyers like WeWork and Oyo. The Japanese investment giant — which isn’t a backer of Gojek’s — has funneled about $3 billion into Singapore-based rival Grab. Gojek, which operates multiple businesses across ride-hailing, food delivery, logistics and others, has already been cutting back on some of its ancillary units such as laundry services and hairstyling.  Ever since the company’s ex-CEO Nadiem Makarim left the company in October last year, and joined the Indonesian government as the minister for education and culture, there have been reports of the merger between the mega-rivals. It was even speculated that Gojek wanted 50 percent of the shareholdings after the merger, while Grab wanted 100 percent control. While Gojek denied the speculations and said that there are no possibilities of a merger, this announcement puts the rumours to rest. With this funding, the total amount raised gets close to $3 billion and subsequently put Gojek in a stronger position while the startup strengthens its attempts to go beyond being a super app. Gojek, whose backers include Google, Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Temasek Holdings Pte, said it will use the new cash to keep expanding despite the present turbulence. The startup, which debuted an app for hailing motorbike taxis in Jakarta in 2015, now also offers a score of other on-demand services such as house cleaning and medicine delivery, and was last valued at $10 billion according to CB Insights. Reports state that the ride-hailing sector in Southeast Asia is set to become a $20.1 billion market by 2025, going up from $5.1 billion in 2017.
-Authored by Ayush Sharma (Content Developer, Startup-Monk)

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