Telkomsel Injects US$150M into Gojek

The strategic partnership is expected to help Telkomsel boost its digital offerings and support talent development within the company. The partnership is an extension of a previous collaboration between Gojek and Telkomsel over data packages for Gojek’s driver partners.

Indonesian telecom giant Telkomsel has invested US$150 million in Southeast Asia superapp and unicorn Gojek under a strategic partnership, according to an announcement yesterday.

As an extension of their pre-existing multi-year partnership, Gojek and Telkomsel are partnering to bolster their services, innovation and user experience for Indonesian consumers and small businesses, the statement said.

The two companies were in talks over the deal for some time, Bloomberg reported in late October.

“We believe that working with Gojek and its extensive ecosystem will accelerate Telkomsel’s growth as a digital telco and our efforts to build an inclusive and sustainable digital ecosystem, which is particularly crucial amid the pandemic and beyond,” Telkomsel President Director, Setyanto Hantoro said in the statement.

Gojek and Telkomsel have been partners since 2018, providing affordable data packages to Gojek driver-partners.

Telkomsel is strengthening its digital capabilities

With over 170 million subscribers, Telkomsel is now looking to boost its three digital pillars­–digital connectivity, digital platform, and digital services–through the move, the statement noted.

The partnership is expected to help both companies reach “millions of Indonesians,” it also said. Gojek and Telkomsel customers can expect initiatives such as joint promotions and product bundles to emerge out of the partnership.

The two companies will also be collaborating over Indonesia’s digital lifestyle sector, ramping up their merchant advertising technology solutions, and work towards professional training programs for Telkomsel employees.

“By working together, we hope to help Indonesia become a true digital powerhouse in Southeast Asia, and bring the benefits of the digital economy to millions more consumers, driver-partners and small businesses,” Co-CEO at Gojek Andre Soelistyo said in the statement.

“In a fast-growing, mobile-first market, collaborations like this one are crucial for supercharging the digital economy as great things can only be achieved if the region’s leading technology companies pool their resources and work together to accelerate development,” he also said.

Soelistyo also said in the statement that the deal puts Gojek “in an even better financial position.”

The year has been busy for Gojek

The deal comes soon after Gojek announced earlier this week that it posted a 10% increase in its annualized gross transaction value (GTV) for 2020 from last year. Its annualized GTV for the year stands at $12 billion. The company’s optimism is also backed by positive cash flows from all its products.

Founded in 2010, Gojek’s key verticals include food delivery, ride-hailing and financial services. It also has other businesses in the line-up, such as its entertainment wing GoPlay, which raised its first independent round of financing in June this year.

Gojek is also currently in talks with arch rival Grab over a possible merger. Edged on by Grab backer SoftBank, the merger is expected to be a silver bullet for the net losses beleaguering the two companies.

Gojek had earlier denied that such a deal was in the books. But the two companies have resumed negotiations, the Financial Times reported.

The 2010-founded unicorn startup is currently valued at nearly $10 billion. It raised $1.2 billion this year in a Series F tranche led by Visa and Mitsubishi.

The company followed this up with another Series F tranche from Facebook and PayPal for an undisclosed amount in June. Its ongoing Series F round, which has been taking place in tranches since late 2018, tallies at close to $3 billion.

The company has received nearly $5 billion in funding so far, according to information available on Crunchbase, and counts heavyweights such as Tencent, Google, Temasek, JD.com, and KKR amongst its investors.

Header image by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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