Indonesia’s bike app Go-Jek buys LeftShift Technologies in 4th India deal

Photo by Gojek

Indonesian bike hailing app Go-Jek has acquired Pune-based app development company LeftShift Technologies Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed amount to strengthen its product development efforts, marking its fourth acquisition of an Indian firm.

LeftShift was started in 2007 by Sudhanshu Raheja and Abhinit Tiwari and hasn’t raised any venture funding.

It helped more than 200 companies design and develop mobile apps, including companies such as BookMyShow, Practo, OYO, Byju’s Classes, Airtel and Emerson. It also counted Go-Jek as one of its customers.

LeftShift’s 42 employees will relocate to Bengaluru and be a part of Go-Jek Engineering India.

The product development centre, which has about 60 employees now, comprises developers, data scientists, designers and product managers who work on mining data and delivering better experiences for consumers.

“LeftShift is arguably among the best mobile app developers in the country. We look forward to their immensely capable team becoming a part of the Go-Jek family,” said Sidu Ponnappa, managing director, Go-Jek Engineering India.

Go-Jek had earlier acquired Bengaluru-based home healthcare start-up Pianta in August.

In February, the firm announced that it bought Bengaluru-based software engineering company C42 Engineering India Pvt. Ltd and Delhi-based development and operations company CodeIgnition Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd for engineering talent.

These deals are so-called acqui-hires, which is jargon for an acquisition made to gain access to the employees of the acquired company.

Go-Jek offers stock options to the employees of its acquired companies that vest over four years.

Go-Jek was started by Harvard graduate Nadiem Makarim in 2011 and is the first Indonesian start-up to achieve the “unicorn” status after a $550 million funding round in August led by KKR and Warburg Pincus.

It also counts Sequoia Capital India, Yuri Milner’s DST Global, Rakuten and Capital Group among its investors.

The company set up its India engineering office after buying C42 and CodeIgnition, both of which worked with Go-Jek, helping it re-architect and rewrite back-end systems and infrastructure, before they got acquired.

The Indonesia-based start-up now employs some 100 engineering and product professionals in India.

Go-Jek said that it will continue to expand its team in India for roles in data science, mobile and security to help with maintaining technology as it scales up rapidly. Go-Jek claims its mobile app, which was launched in January 2015, has been downloaded 25 million times so far.

“We are looking at more acqui-hires in India. The priority for us in looking for an acquisition is a hacker mind-set and the tech chops to back it up. We look for proof that you have built tech systems whether at a corporate or open source. We also look at whether what they built earlier is aligned to our business,” Ponnappa said. The firm, which is valued at $1.3 billion, started off by bringing technology to local bike-taxis (‘Ojeks’ in Indonesian). Since then, it has expanded to doing food delivery, logistics and even payments via GO-PAY, a virtual wallet which can be used to pay for services.

Also read:

Indonesia: Co-founder Michaelangelo Moran leaves Go-Jek

Indonesia’s bike taxi Go-Jek acquires healthcare services startup Pianta, its third deal in India

This article was first published on Livemint.com

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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.