Gojek snags funding from Thailand's top lender

Ride-hailing giant Gojek has secured an investment from Siam Commercial Bank, the Thai lender that counts King Maha Vajiralongkorn as its biggest shareholder, sources said.

They said it is unclear how much Thailand's biggest bank is investing in Gojek, but that the move will boost Siam Commercial's revenue through online growth and help Indonesia's most valuable technology start-up bolster its financial services.

More South-east Asian banks are partnering technology firms to offer financial services, from e-payments to consumer loans.

Thailand's Kasikornbank has invested US$50 million (S$68 million) in Gojek's rival, Grab. They intend to release a mobile wallet.

Established more than a century ago by royal charter, Siam Commercial Bank is Thailand's oldest home-grown lender and the latest to join Gojek's ongoing series F funding round.

Gojek raised more than US$1 billion as of the round's first close, led by Google, JD.com and Tencent Holdings, Bloomberg reported in February. This week, it added more series F funding from three Mitsubishi entities.

Gojek, which debuted its app in 2015, is expanding across South-east Asia, aiming to popularise an all-purpose consumer app similar to Tencent's WeChat in China.

It is valued at US$10 billion, according to CB Insights, and hosts more than 20 on-demand services, such as food delivery.

Representatives of the bank and Gojek declined to comment.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2019, with the headline 'Gojek snags funding from Thailand's top lender'. Print Edition | Subscribe