The state-backed Cool Japan Fund will invest about $50 million in Indonesian ride-hailing startup Go-Jek, seeking to add Japanese content to the multi-service company’s new video streaming offering and promote Japanese cuisine.
Go-Jek operates one of Southeast Asia’s largest online platforms. The company said it has 155 million downloads for its services ranging from ride-hailing and food delivery to mobile payments.
Part of Cool Japan’s infusion will go toward Go-Jek’s video and music streaming service for mobile users. The public-private fund hopes to tap the popularity of Japanese anime and horror movies in Indonesia. It will help bring existing programs to Go-Jek’s service and work with the startup to produce original Japan-related content locally.
The fund’s investment also will help Japanese restaurants in Indonesia set up shop at Go-Jek’s Go-Food Festival locations. These offline sites feature the food delivery service’s top-selling merchants.
The new investment marks the biggest in Southeast Asia for Cool Japan, which aims to encourage overseas demand for Japanese products and services.
Go-Jek’s Japanese investors also include trading house Mitsubishi Corp. and automaker Mitsubishi Motors, which have provided capital to the ride-hailing business.
This article was first published on Nikkei Asian Review.