Amazon in talks for stake in Indonesia's Gojek: Sources

 The Gojek office in Singapore, where the company runs a ride-hailing transport service.
The Gojek office in Singapore, where the company runs a ride-hailing transport service. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

WASHINGTON • Amazon.com is in talks to make an investment in Indonesian ride-hailing giant Gojek, people familiar with the negotiations said, a move that could bolster the US company's presence in South-east Asia.

Amazon is one of the firms that have been negotiating with Gojek to join its ongoing Series F funding round, according to the sources, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private.

Under one scenario that has been considered, Amazon may make a meaningful investment for a slice of Indonesia's most valuable start-up, said one of the sources.

The talks may still fall apart or the terms may change.

A Gojek representative declined to comment.

Amazon could not be reached immediately for comment outside of normal business hours.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported on the discussions.

The move could mark Amazon's most significant investment in Indonesia, one of the last frontiers of e-commerce. The Seattle-based retail giant took its first step into the region in 2017 when it entered Singapore with Amazon Prime Now.

But in Indonesia, by far the region's biggest and most promising market with 260 million people, it has no presence.

By contrast, Chinese tech titans have made inroads into the region recently.

Alibaba Group Holding spent billions of dollars to acquire online shopping company Lazada Group and invested in home-grown Indonesian e-commerce companies Tokopedia and Bukalapak.

Tencent Holdings has backed Sea, whose mobile shopping unit Shopee is battling fiercely with Lazada.

Gojek debuted its app for hailing motorbike taxis in Jakarta in 2015.

Since then, the company has evolved into a "super app" - part ride-sharing service, part food-delivery business and part digital-wallet provider.

It also offers a dozen other on-demand services such as booking a cleaner and medicine delivery.

As part of the ongoing funding round, Gojek - valued at US$10 billion (S$13.9 billion), according to CB Insights - has secured investments from Visa, Thailand's Siam Commercial Bank, Mitsubishi Motors, Mitsubishi Corp and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co this year.

The terms of those deals were not disclosed. Those investments added to more than US$1 billion Gojek secured in a previous funding round earlier this year.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2019, with the headline 'Amazon in talks for stake in Indonesia's Gojek: Sources'. Print Edition | Subscribe