GOJEK said to hand fundraising mandate to Citi for extended Series F

A Go-Jek motorcycle taxi driver and a passenger travel along a road in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg

Indonesian ride-hailing unicorn GOJEK has hired Citigroup Inc’s investment banking unit to work on its extended Series F funding round, according to industry executives aware of the development.

Bloomberg had earlier reported that GOJEK was seeking pitches from investment banks to work on its financing round. The Indonesian unicorn has already raised just over $1 billion as part of the round from investors including Mitsubishi Corp. and Provident Capital, along with Google, JD.com and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Citi will be looking to help the Jakarta-based company raise an additional $2 billion, which, according to executives DEALSTREETASIA spoke to, is likely to comprise a mix of equity and debt funding.

Low interest rates have made debt funding increasingly popular among Southeast Asian startups. NYSE-listed Sea Ltd had in 2018 raised $575 million via an upsized convertible bonds offering to finance its expansion. Last year, GOJEK’s archrival Grab secured significant funding from automakers, including $1 billion from Toyota, in deals that looked a little like vendor financing.

According to industry sources, Citi’s mandate also includes roping in strategic investors interested in one or more of GOJEK’s about 20 business verticals — these include food and grocery delivery, payments, courier, car wash, massage and house cleaning services. In the past, GOJEK has secured investments from strategics such as Allianz via its venture arm and then roped in the insurer to provide insurance cover for its drivers.

When contacted by DEALSTREETASIA, GOJEK declined to comment on its fundraising or the appointment of an investment bank.

According to a previously issued official statement, the Indonesian ride-hailing to payments startup will invest the Series F funds across transport, food delivery, logistics, mobile payments, and merchant services businesses. It also plans to use proceeds to accelerate its market expansion across Southeast Asia, a market which has been dominated by the heavily-funded Grab.

In the last five months, GOJEK has expanded into three new regional markets, namely Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand.

The company is in longstanding talks with the Philippine authority to make the country its fourth overseas market. Its planned foray into the Philippines hit a roadblock in January due to foreign ownership regulations. The company said it is working to resolve those regulatory concerns.

“International expansion is definitely still new to us. There will inevitably be hiccups in all shapes and forms. The Philippines is a very important market for us and we’re working very closely with government agencies to figure out the right solution, and it’s still an ongoing conversation,” GOJEK co-founder Kevin Aluwi had said in a fireside chat at DEALSTREETASIA’s Indonesia PE-VC Summit 2019 in January.

Grab, meanwhile, has secured over $3 billion in investment towards its ongoing Series H funding round, for which it is seeking to raise a total of $5 billion. The round has been backed by investors that include Toyota, Microsoft, Booking Holdings, Hyundai, OppenheimerFunds, Ping An Capital, Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Macquarie Capital, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Citi Ventures.

Also Read:

Go-Jek seeks bank pitches to raise additional $2b in ongoing round

Go-Jek raises over $1b in first close of Series F round

Capital is crucial but not the only factor that has brought us this far, says Go-Jek co-founder Aluwi

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.