Indonesia’s biggest telecom service provider PT Telkomsel, a subsidiary of state-owned telecommunication company Telkom Indonesia, has invested $150 million in the ride-hailing and food delivery decacorn Gojek. The company announced the investment on Tuesday in a disclosure to the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX).
The announcement confirms an August report by DealStreetAsia about Telkomsel’s investment plans.
“The investment reflects Telkomsel’s commitment, as a digital telecommunication company, to provide services beyond connectivity. Telkom believes this collaboration will provide better solutions and services to society in order to create an inclusive and sustainable digital ecosystem… Telkomsel will have an investment in AKAB (Gojek) in the amount of $150 million,” Andi Setiawan, VP Investor Relations, Telkom group, said in the statement.
Founded in 1995, Telkomsel is a joint venture between telcom giants Telkom Indonesia and Singapore’s Singtel, with the former owning a 65 per cent stake in the company and the latter holding the rest.
The Jakarta-headquartered company had 172 million customers as of 2018. Last year, the company launched a $40 million VC fund in partnership with MDI Ventures and Singtel Innov8, which are the VC arms of its two stakeholders, Telkom Indonesia and Singtel, respectively.
The investment from Telkomsel would provide a further boost to Gojek’s services.
This year, Gojek posted a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in its gross transaction value (GTV) to $12 billion. Its Gojek-branded services generated positive margins on a product basis. The company claimed it has around 38 million monthly active users across Southeast Asia. Gojek has been focusing on digital payments and food delivery, besides ride-hailing, in a bid to move toward profitability.
“In a fast-growing, mobile-first market, collaborations like this one are crucial for supercharging the digital economy,” Gojek co-CEO Andre Soelistyo said in a press statement announcing the investment. “Users of both platforms can look forward to… innovative product offerings, and cost savings through joint promotions and product bundles,” the statement added.
In June 2020, US tech giants Facebook and Paypal, along with existing backers Google and Tencent, invested in the ride-hailing platform in its Series F round in June this year, taking the amount raised in the round to over $3 billion.
Gojek made the first close of its ongoing Series F round at $1 billion early last year and disclosed unspecified investments from Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance, and payments major Visa in July 2019.
Telkom joins a long list of over 30 investors that have backed Gojek so far. However, it would be one of the very few Indonesian companies to make it to Gojek’s cap table. Other local firms that have invested in Gojek include conglomerates Djarum and Astra.
SoftBank, a backer of Gojek’s rival Grab, is said to be pushing for a merger of the two companies.