Indonesian superapp Gojek to shut down majority of its lifestyle services

Go-Life connects users with professionals in home and office cleaning, automotive, beauty and massage services. Photo: Go-Jek website

Indonesian ride-hailing decacorn Gojek has confirmed that it will be shutting down all but two services from its separate lifestyle division and app, GoLife.

The decision was taken following a review of the sluggish performance of the five services, which, combined, have contributed only 10 per cent of total orders on the platform.

“The GoDaily and GoLaundry services will be discontinued on 31 December 2019, while our GoFix, GoGlam, and Service Marketplace services will be discontinued as of 15 January 2020,” said GoLife head Wesly Simatupang.

Gojek, which hosts over 20 services on its main platform, spun off its lifestyle services as a separate app in 2017. At the time, the new platform consisted of GoMassage (home spa and massage service booking), GoClean (house-cleaning service booking), GoAuto (vehicle maintenance service booking), and GoGlam (beautician booking service). Since then it has added GoDaily (daily needs order and delivery service), GoFix (home appliances repair service) and GoLaundry (laundry service), as well as a new Service Marketplace feature.

Of the seven services currently on offer, only GoClean and GoMassage, which accounts for up to 90 per cent of orders on the GoLife app, will be retained and continue to operate.

Simatupang said the decision to slash the underperforming services was done with the consumer needs and company growth in mind.

“We believe that reviewing and optimizing the performance of our products and services is essential to meet the evolving needs of consumers and for future growth,” he said.

In a similar move, Gojek’s compatriot Bukalapak in September announced that it has abandoned a number of functions, including smart retail and some marketing roles, and laid off about 10% of its workforce, or around 250 workers, in a bid to cut costs and drive efficiency.

These moves come as tech companies and their investors have started to shift focus from accelerated growth to the question of profitability, brought about, in part, by the failed IPO of loss-making US tech company WeWork and the drastic correction in its valuation from an estimated $47 billion to $8 billion.

In an address to reporters at a company’s anniversary event in Singapore last month, Gojek co-CEO Andre Soelistyo alluded to the effect that the WeWork debacle has had to the investor fraternity. “Many will say that winter is coming. That’s why investors are also looking for companies that reflect a clear path to profitability,” he said.

Gojek is currently raising a Series F round of about $2 billion, which it is planning to close in January 2020.

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

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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.