Facebook, PayPal invest in Southeast Asia’s GoTix-owner Gojek

Facebook and PayPal have invested in Southeast Asian multi-sector company Gojek, which owns Indonesia’s largest mobile ticketing platform, GoTix.

Neither US group disclosed the amount they have invested, though Gojek is participating in its ongoing financing round, which brings its total raise-to-date to over $3bn.

The move is focused on the start-up’s digital payments arm GoPay, with Facebook-owned WhatsApp, the instant messaging service, looking to integrate with the payments arm to support small businesses in the region.

According to a regulatory filing, Facebook now owns a 2.4 per cent stake in Gojek’s GoPay fintech arm, while PayPal owns 0.6 per cent of GoPay.

Matt Idema, chief operating officer at WhatsApp, said the company will work with “indispensable” Gojek to “bring millions of small businesses and the customers they serve into the largest digital economy in Southeast Asia.”

He continued in a blog post: “The majority of small businesses in Indonesia rely on cash to operate due to the country’s large unbanked population. Digital payments are safer than cash, both for businesses and customers. And digital payments help more people participate in the economy and give businesses access to credit which is crucial for business growth.

“I see the deal as the first step to building the infrastructure to expand Facebook’s payment and fintech businesses in the region.”

Meanwhile, PayPal said the partnership will enable it to “significantly grow” its scope and scale in Southeast Asia.

The global payments giant said in a statement: “This new relationship is another positive step in our journey towards becoming the worldwide payments partner of choice, and helping to fuel global commerce by connecting the world’s leading marketplaces and payment networks.”

In a statement, Gojek said existing investors Tencent and Google also joined the latest fundraising round, which people with direct knowledge of the matter said valued the firm at $10bn.

Gojek largest market is Indonesia, where its ride-hailing service operates in more than 200 cities and its GoPay service spreads across 370 cities, processing billions of transactions each year. It also has a presence in Vietnam and Thailand.

Image: Andika Wardana