Gojek fields bank pitches amid US$3b funding drive

Gojek has already raised just over US$1 billion at the first close of the ongoing Series F round. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Gojek, Indonesia's most valuable start-up, is choosing an adviser to help with fundraising as it expands rapidly in the competitive South-east Asian ride-hailing industry, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The firm recently asked investment banks to pitch for a role working on its ongoing financing round, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Gojek could seek to bring in as much as US$2 billion additional capital from new investors, the people said, which would take the total haul from the current round to around US$3 billion.

Gojek has already raised just over US$1 billion at the first close of the ongoing Series F round, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month. Mitsubishi Corp.and Provident Capital participated alongside existing investors Google, JD.com Inc and Tencent Holdings.

The Jakarta-based star-up is intensifying its push against larger rival Grab. The two most valuable startups in South-east Asia are going head-to-head in everything from ride hailing to mobile payments and food delivery in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. Grab said last month it raised more than US$3 billion in 2018 as part of its Series H financing round.

No final decisions have been made, and the eventual size of the fundraising will depend on investor demand, the people said. A representative for Gojek declined to comment.

South-east Asia's internet firms raised US$9.1 billion from venture capitalists, private equity firms and corporate investors in the first half of last year, headed for an all-time record, a report from Google and Temasek Holdings shows. The industry raised US$9.4 billion in all of 2017, according to the November research.

The region's ride-hailing market is expected to reach US$28 billion by 2025 from an estimated US$7.7 billion last year, the report shows, underscoring the ambition of Gojek and Grab to become South-east Asia's super apps.

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