Amazon and Indonesia-based Gojek – an on-demand multi-service platform and digital payment technology group – are said to be in early discussions around investment by the US e-commerce giant in Gojek’s delivery platform and infrastructure.
According to sources cited by Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, Amazon may make a significant investment for a slice of Indonesia’s most valuable startup, valued at between USD 9-10 billion.
Launched in 2011 in Jakarta, Gojek has evolved from a motorcycle ride-hailing service to a one-stop app through which its customers can make online payments and order everything from cleaners, masseuses and hairdressers to food, groceries and e-commerce goods.
Gojek has since expanded to four other Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. This would be Amazon’s first investment in the Indonesian market, known for its early-adopters, fast-growing tech and surging e-commerce growth.
E-commerce has been growing rapidly in Indonesia – Southeast Asia’s biggest economy – but one of the main obstacles is logistics as the archipelago country consists of 17,000 islands sprinkled across an area bigger than the European Union.
Indonesia’s e-commerce sales are currently worth USD 12.2 billion and projected to reach USD 53 billion in the next five years.
The market is already a battleground between Singapore-based Lazada (majority owned by the Alibaba Group since April 2016), Shopee (also Singapore-based) and homegrown platform, Tokopedia.
Meanwhile, Gojek raised over USD 1.0 billion in a recent funding round as it challenges Singapore-based rival Grab for a larger share of the region.
Grab, just last week, announced it will invest USD 500 million into Vietnam over a period of five years to tap opportunities in fintech, new mobility solutions and logistics.
The company also reached a strategic partnership with Vietnam’s Sovico Group, including low cost carrier VietJet, to collaborate on first and last mile mobility and logistics solutions.