Indonesian FinTech Gojek Seeks To Become Global Player


Indonesia’s Gojek is seeking to expand its ridesharing and digital payments business throughout Southeast Asia and beyond.

“One of our primary focuses for 2021 is really to expand our footprint outside of Indonesia,” Gojek Co-CEO Kevin Aluwi told CNBC in an interview.

“Over the last few years, we’ve definitely invested relatively smaller amounts in our markets outside of Indonesia. But, we think this is the year where we really want to spread our wings and be a regional and global business,” Aluwi added.

Founded in 2010, Gojek began as a ride-hailing business but has since branched out into food delivery and digital payments. The company now operates in five nations and 200 cities throughout Southeast Asia.

Gojek is also reportedly mulling a merger with Indonesian eCommerce giant Tokopedia in a deal valued at around $18 billion. CNBC said the merger could help it compete with regional rivals Sea Group, which operates Shopee, and Grab.

Last month, Gojek rolled out a new point-of-sale device called GoBiz for small and-medium sized businesses (SMBs) in Indonesia.

Indonesia, one of the world’s most populous nations, has been battered by the ongoing pandemic. While the pandemic has put pressure on businesses like ride-sharing, it’s also created demand for low-contact or contactless services like digital payments and food delivery.

Aluwi told CNBC that while Gojek’s business has also been negatively impacted by the pandemic, its diversification into areas like food delivery, logistics and digital payments have provided it with “meaningful pockets of growth.”

Aluwi declined to comment on what he called “merger speculation,” but said he was “extremely optimistic” about 2021.

“We do think that 2021 is going to be a growth year and, more importantly, we spent 2020 really investing in a lot of the business and product and operational fundaments, such that profitability and long-term sustainability looks meaningfully better year-over-year,” he told CNBC.

In November, Gojek closed a $150 million funding deal with Indonesia’s Telkomsel, a subsidiary of Telkom Indonesia and Singtel. Other Gojek investors include Facebook, Google, PayPal and Tencent.