Indonesia’s Gojek seeks to grow third-party platforms business

a woman shows GoSure in Gojek app. GoSure is a collaboration between Gojek and PasarPolis to provide insurance products through Gojek platform

Indonesian ride-hailing app Gojek is looking at expanding its third-party platforms business.

The decacorn, which set up its third-party platform business in mid-2018, has already launched ten services and will continue to add more third-party services to boost user traction and daily transactions through its app.

In doing so, it is taking a leaf out of its prominent investor Tencent’s WeChat Mini program playbook.

Tencent’s model in China is a great success story, we have studied it and worked with them, adapting many of their learnings to suit Indonesia and the wider Southeast Asian market. This has worked well for us, as it ensures that our products truly cater to the needs of consumers in the market,” Gojek’s head of third-party platforms Sony Radhityo told DealStreetAsia.

WeChat Mini Program, which recorded daily active users of over 300 million in 2019, saw total transactions worth 800 billion yuan ($115 billion) in the year.

Tencent Mobility Limited owns 4.9 per cent stake in Gojek and that makes the Chinese tech giant holding company the fourth major shareholder in the ride-hailing major based on its July filing, according to DealStreetAsia’s Unicorn Report: Gojek.

Gojek kicked off the third-party platforms initiative with GoNews, a non-transaction product aimed to keep customers on the app even if they did not make transactions.

“We tried to create content in-house but quickly realised that the approach was not scalable. At Gojek, building scalable products is right at the top of our checklists. So, we decided to build a news aggregator, which allowed us to provide regular content to users without creating the content ourselves,” Radhityo said in a Gojek blog post. 

Three months after the launch, Gojek found that users who engage with GoNews had 3-4 times higher app opens compared to other users at that time. 

That led Gojek to collaborate with more platforms across a range of services covering digital donations, e-commerce, health, gaming, and others. These platforms are GoMed with healthtech startupHalodoc; GoNews with Google News and Kumparan; GoMall with e-commerce platforms Blibli and JD.id; GoInvestasi with fintech Pluang; GoGames with MainGame; GoSure with insurtech Pasar Polis; GoFitnes with fitness booking app Doogether; GoGive with digital donation Kitabisa; GoService with JumpaPay, and the most recent addition GoGreener with Jejak.in.

“As we grew our business, we recognised that we cannot be a self-contained ecosystem – instead, we want to work with talented partners to provide users with innovative solutions that will positively impact their lives and give them greater value,” Radhityo added.

Gojek and the third-party platform service typically enter into a commission-sharing formula based on transactions made through the ride-hailing app.

By collaborating with third parties, Radhityo said, Gojek is increasing the number of opportunities a user has to transact on the platform. 

“We are also enabling users to pay for more daily transactions using GoPay, which is a widely used e-wallet in the market. This offers greater convenience to our millions of users, allowing them to use just one app to access and pay for various services,” Radhityo added.

Gojek claimed, it has 20 million monthly active users across Indonesia as of August 2020.

Alongside its aim to grow third-party platforms business, Gojek also filed for several fresh trademark applications indicating that new services were in the pipeline, as it seeks to expand its super app portfolio, per our report in July.

The Indonesian firm has as many as 18 of its own services on the app, of which two were discontinued in July. The shuttering of GoLife, which offered at-home massage and cleaning services, as well as GoFood Festivals, Gojek’s physical food courts, came about in response to the pressure created by the COVID-19 pandemic that also saw the firm laying off about 430 employees, or 9 per cent of its total workforce.  Gojek attributed the move as part of its strategy to prioritise its high-impact core businesses of payments, transport, and food delivery.

The third-party platform services, Radhityo added, have helped Gojek business to stay resilient even amid the pandemic.

“With our third-party platform business, we are able to continue meeting demand in a variety of different areas – a purpose that is more crucial now than ever during unprecedented circumstances as digital services become a daily necessity for many,” he said.

What it means to be on the Gojek app

Indonesian health-tech platform Halodoc, in which Gojek is an early investor, said it has seen a 600 per cent rise in telemedicine and medicine delivery during the pandemic. Halodoc CEO and co-founder Jonathan Sudharta said, nearly 300 per cent of that growth was contributed from the Gojek app. 

Pluang, a fintech startup focused on gold transactions, picked up traction from the Gojek app since its partnership in June 2020, according to CEO and co-founder Claudia Colonas.

Meanwhile, fitness app DOOgether has seen a 30-per cent increase in user numbers and total transactions since it joined the Gojek platform in August 2019, said business development head Raditya Pranindhana.

For insurtech PasarPolis, selling through partner platforms has become a mainstay compared to its own.

“Being in the Gojek app encourages the growth of insurance purchases and offers a frictionless customer experience journey,” said Nova Regina Targer, vice president of partnership at PasarPolis. 

Gojek’s Radhityo said the key criteria for working with third parties is how the platforms can solve more problems for users. For instance, Gojek partnered PasarPolis earlier this year to introduce GoSure, the online insurance service, as they saw a need to increase the awareness and usage of insurance solutions in Indonesia.

“Another area that we look at closely is the technical capabilities of the third parties. Partnering with Gojek gives them instant access to millions of users, and it is important for the third-party platform to handle the high level of traffic and ensure a smooth experience for users,” Radhityo added.

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.