Indonesian hyperlocal transport, logistics and payments startup GO-JEK was founded in 2010. It is also the first startup of Indonesian origin to be classified as a transport system.
This Indonesian unicorn is learnt to have picked up a minority stake in Bangladesh-based two-wheeler ride-hailing app startup Pathao, according to two people familiar with the development. The companies are understood to have closed this deal few weeks back. Go-Jek is learnt to have invested around USD 2 million in Pathao’s Series A round, these executives, who are industry sources added.
When contacted by some international media, both Pathao and Go-Jek have declined to comment. Go-Jek is learnt to have opted for a relatively small stake as Pathao was not keen on selling majority holding in the company. Through this deal, industry observers say, Go-Jek will get an exposure into one of the most populated and untapped frontier markets, where traffic, like Indonesia, is a big concern.
It is also believed to be part of Go-Jek’s strategy to diversify horizontally across different markets while making it one of its first investments in a new region in a company which has similar operations as its core business. The industry sources added that Tencent, that is among the investors in Go-Jek, was keen that the Indonesia player invest in Pathao.
Go-Jek and Pathao share many similarities in their business model and problems they seek to solve. Founded in 2015 by Hussain M. Elius, Shifat Adnan, and Fahim Saleh, Pathao’s services are being divided into motorbike-based ride-hailing service for passengers and a courier service for e-commerce companies. The startup began as an on-demand delivery service but later pivoted to specialise in delivery service for e-commerce companies when they saw a greater opportunity in it.
Previously, Go-Jek has invested in Indonesian medtech startup HaloDoc. Following the investment, Go-Jek has since merged its medicine delivery service Go-Med into the HaloDoc platform.
The investment in Pathao marks Go-Jek’s first investment in a ride-hailing startup. Go-Jek has also acquired several startups in India, including mobile app developer LeftShift, home healthcare services Pianta, and tech consultancy agencies C42 Engineering and CodeIgnition.
Back home, the ride-hailing giant has acquired e-payment startup MV Commerce and events management platform Loket, which has taken over the operation of its ticket booking feature Go-Tix. It has also been reported to be in talks to acquire payments gateway startup Midtrans.