Gojek: MSMEs to benefit from FB, PayPal investment

Image credit: Gojek Product + Tech
Image credit: Gojek Product + Tech

In a move seen to accelerate digital payment adoption among micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Southeast Asia, Gojek has announced that Facebook and PayPal have invested in the company in its latest round of funding.

Facebook and PayPal are the latest to join a powerhouse list of investors in the Indonesian startup. Gojek’s longtime investors include Google and Tencent. This new investment will support Gojek’s mission to boost Southeast Asia’s digital economy.

Helping small businesses

“This is great validation that the world’s most innovative tech companies recognize the positive impact Gojek is making in Indonesia and the whole of Southeast Asia. By working together, we have the opportunity to achieve something truly unique as we aim to help more businesses to digitize and ensure that many millions more consumers are enjoying the benefits that the digital economy can bring,” Gojek Co-CEO Andre Soelistyo said in a press statement.

From a ride-hailing giant, Gojek has become a super app offering different services to consumers. Its digital payment platform GoPay has long focused on increasing access to the digital economy for MSMEs. Many MSMEs continue to rely on cash to operate, due to the region’s large unbanked population. The latest influx of funding will support more of these businesses as they seek to digitize further.

Since launching its app in 2015, Gojek has digitized hundreds of thousands of merchants on its platform. The startup has provided them with access to more than 170 million users across Southeast Asia. Its payment business processes billions of transactions each year and owns the largest e-wallet in Indonesia. A large part of this is driven by GoFood, the largest food delivery service in Indonesia. GoPay has also expanded into other sectors both within and outside the Gojek ecosystem.

Journey to digital economy

“Since we were founded, the story of Gojek’s growth has been inexorably linked with the growth of the micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses on our platform and this will always be the case. With some of the world’s best technology companies as partners, we are confident that we can continue to deliver unique world-class products and services for the various players in our ecosystem,” said Gojek Co-CEO Kevin Aluwi.

This is Facebook’s first investment in an Indonesia-based business. The social networking giant seeks to create new opportunities for businesses in the country. This includes driving the growth of its ubiquitous WhatsApp messaging service.

“Gojek, WhatsApp, and Facebook are indispensable services in Indonesia. Working together we can help bring millions of small businesses and the customers they serve into the largest digital economy in Southeast Asia,” said WhatsApp Chief Operating Officer Matt Idema.

Meanwhile, Gojek’s services will integrate PayPal’s payment capabilities. They will also collaborate to allow GoPay customers to gain access to PayPal’s network of more than 25 million merchants.

“Southeast Asia is at an inflection point in digital adoption that creates new opportunities to deliver financial services to previously unbanked merchants and consumers,” said PayPal Head of Corporate Development and Ventures for APAC Farhad Maleki.