After Grab, Indonesia’s Gojek invests in e-wallet LinkAja’s Series B round

Photo: LinkAja website

Indonesian state-backed digital wallet LinkAja has snagged an investment from ride-hailing and payments platform Gojek as part of its ongoing Series B round, which has now exceeded $100 million. 

LinkAja had earlier in November last year secured funding from Gojek rival Grab which led the Series B round along with existing investors PT Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel), BRI Ventures, and Mandiri Capital.

Interestingly, in the same month last year, telecom service provider Telkomsel, LinkAja’s main shareholder, invested $150 million in Gojek. 

The latest funding will allow LinkAja to be an additional payment option on the Gojek app in Indonesia. 

“This strategic investment is a further validation of our growth and progress as a startup founded by the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises in delivering our mission to accelerate financial inclusion in Indonesia, particularly for the underbanked and unbanked, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) segments,” LinkAja CEO Haryati Lawidjaja​ said in the statement. 

Gojek CEO Andre Soelistyo said the partnership would allow combining the technological strengths and digital footprint to improve the adoption of cashless payments for more people across the country. 

Credit Suisse and Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung acted as exclusive placement agents and legal counsel to LinkAja for the fundraising.

LinkAja gains access to Grab, Gojek ecosystems

With two of Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing companies as the shareholders in LinkAja, the platform becomes the digital wallet that benefits the most, MDI Ventures vice-president Aldi Adrian Hartanto said, commenting on the funding.

“LinkAja can have access to millions of Grab and Gojek users and ecosystem, which will complement and expand the use case for LinkAja. Meanwhile, Grab, and Gojek also can penetrate more users, particularly in the second and third cities. LinkAja also has a strong ecosystem among the SOE companies, including the public transportation sector and gas stations,” Hartanto said. 

With Grab and Gojek backing the fintech firm, LinkAja has bargaining power, validation, and the ecosystem, one market observer pointed out. 

However, another source, who requested anonymity, said, Gojek and Grab have invested in LinkAja as a way to ‘secure’ their relationship with the government. “The investment in LinkAja will help both tech companies to secure their relationship with the government and the SOE ecosystem,” the source added. 

In 2020, LinkAja claimed that its number of users increased 65% to over 61 million, of which 73% were in the second and third-tier cities. The transaction value and volume transaction increased fourfold compared to 2019. 

According to a survey conducted by Indonesian research firm Ipsos in October 2020, ShopeePay’s user penetration was 48%, higher than OVO (46%), GoPay (35%), DANA (26%), and LinkAja (16%). In terms of total transaction value, ShopeePay was the highest in Q3 2020.

Compared to other Indonesian e-wallets, LinkAja, which started operations in 2019, was behind ShopeePay, OVO, GoPay, and Ant-Financial backed DANA. 

 

 

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.