Go-Jek snags investment from Thailand’s largest lender

  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 10 Jul 2019

FILE PHOTO: A Gojek driver rides his motorcycle through a business district street in Jakarta,Indonesia, June 9, 2015. REUTERS/Beawiharta/File Photo

Ride-hailing giant Go-Jek has secured an investment from Siam Commercial Bank Pcl, the Thai lender that counts King Maha Vajiralongkorn as its biggest shareholder, according to people familiar with the matter.

It’s unclear how much Thailand’s biggest bank is investing in Go-Jek, the people said, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Their partnership will help Indonesia’s most valuable technology startup bolster its financial services, while Siam Commercial is counting on online growth to help increase revenue, they added.

South-East Asia’s banks are increasingly teaming up with technology firms that are getting onto their turf, offering financial services from digital payments to consumer loans. Thailand’s Kasikornbank Pcl has invested US$50mil (RM207.07mil) in Go-Jek’s rival, Grab, and the pair intend to establish a co-branded mobile wallet.

Established over a century ago by royal charter, Siam Commercial Bank is Thailand’s oldest homegrown lender. It’s the latest to join Go-Jek’s ongoing series-F round, a term denoting late-stage financing.

The startup has already raised over US$1bil (RM4.14bil) as of the round’s first close, Bloomberg reported in February. Alphabet Inc’s Google, JD.com Inc and Tencent Holdings Ltd invested alongside Provident Capital. This week, Go-Jek announced additional investment from Mitsubishi Motors Corp, Mitsubishi Corp and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co as part of the series F financing.

Go-Jek, which debuted its app for hailing motorbike taxis in Jakarta in 2015, is expanding beyond Indonesia to cater to consumers across South-East Asia, aiming to popularise an all-purpose consumer app similar to Tencent’s WeChat in China. It is valued at US$10bil (RM41.41bil) according to CB Insights, and hosts more than 20 on-demand services on its platform from food delivery to cab-hailing.

Representatives of the bank and Go-Jek declined to comment. – Bloomberg

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