WhatsApp, PayPal invest in Indonesia’s ride-hailing app operator Gojek

FILE PHOTO: Gojek driver helmets are seen during Go-Food festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. REUTERS/Beawiharta

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Facebook Inc messaging platform WhatsApp and PayPal Holdings Inc on Wednesday said they have invested in payment, food delivery and ride-hailing app operator Gojek as part of the Indonesian firm’s ongoing fundraising round.

WhatsApp and PayPal did not disclose the size of the investment or the stakes they would receive. A Gojek investor told Reuters the WhatsApp investment was “meaningful”.

WhatsApp Chief Operations Officer Matt Idema in a blog post said his company would work with Gojek “to support the growth of millions of small businesses”.

The move is likely to significantly strengthen WhatsApp’s presence in Indonesia, where it has more than 100 million users. It comes just over a month since parent company, Facebook’s, $5.7 billion investment in the digital arm of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd.

Disruptive.Asia reported in April that Facebook was in talks with Gojek about an investment and was working with three e-wallet operators in Indonesia, including Gojek’s GoPay, to launch mobile payment services in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

Market head at PayPal International, Cameron McLean, in a statement said PayPal’s “payment capabilities would be integrated into Gojek’s services” and enable its users to use GoPay at PayPal merchants globally.

Gojek was founded in 2010 as a ride-hailing firm and has since evolved into a one-stop app through which users can make online payments and order food and services. It is active in four markets and owns an e-wallet startup in the Philippines.

Gojek in a statement said existing investors Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alphabet Inc’s Google also joined the latest fundraising round, which people with direct knowledge of the matter said valued the firm at $10 billion.

The fundraising had reached $1.2 billion as of March, showed an internal memo reviewed by Reuters.

Funding talks with Amazon.com Inc, have been dropped, as have talks for existing backer Meituan Dianping to take a much larger stake, the people said.

Gojek and Amazon declined to comment. Meituan Dianping did not respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Fanny Potkin; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Christopher Cushing)

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