Grab And Gojek Reportedly Closing In On Mega-Merger 

Gojek, grab, super app, southeast asia, delivery, payments, digital

A mega-merger between Grab Holdings and Gojek is getting closer to being realized in what would be the biggest tie-up of online firms in Southeast Asia, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday (Dec. 2), citing unnamed sources.  

Sources told Bloomberg that Southeast Asia’s two most significant startups have made “substantial progress” toward a possible merger. The news service said executives from both companies are involved in talks, along with Masayoshi Son of SoftBank, which is one of Grab’s biggest backers.  

Grab and Gojek are both powerful players in Southeast Asia’s market for ride-hailing, food delivery and payments. Bloomberg quoted sources as saying that in one possible scenario, a merger would result in Grab Co-founder Anthony Tan becoming CEO of the combined company, with Gojek leaders handling the combined business in Indonesia.  

The two entities could also operate independently under their own brand names for an undetermined amount of time, the sources said. But the ultimate goal is for the new company to file for an initial public offering (IPO).  

However, sources told Bloomberg that talks are still ongoing and could close without a resolution. Any merger deal would also need to get regulatory approval and address antitrust concerns. 

As the region’s two biggest delivery and mobile payments platforms, Grab and Gojek have been fighting for dominance over the years, while Bloomberg said that investors have long lobbied for the two startups to become one across Southeast Asia.  

Bloomberg reported that SoftBank has been putting pressure on Grab to finalize a merger deal with Gojek, and that Son made a visit to Indonesia in January. The news service said the two firms paused talks for six months before re-starting negotiations in September.  

Most recently valued at more than $14 billion, Grab was founded in 2012 by Tan and Hooi Ling and has a presence in eight countries. Gojek, founded in 2010 by Kevin Aluwi, Michaelangelo Moran and Nadiem Makarim, has been valued at $10 billion and operates across Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.