Facebook and PayPal today invested in GoJek, a Southeast Asian ride-car service,media reported. Before that, well-known technology companies such as Google and Tencent also supported the company. In addition to the online car, GoJek also covers meal delivery and mobile payment services.
It is understood to be Facebook’s first investment in the Indonesian company, and PayPal did not disclose the amount of the deal. But GoJek told TechCrunch that the two companies are in the process of raising the F round, bringing the total to more than $3 billion.
Matt Idema, chief operating officer of WhatsApp, Facebook’s instant messaging service, said the company’s partnership with GoJek would help millions of small businesses and customers of their services become Southeast Asia’s largest digital economy.
Because Indonesia has a large population without bank accounts, most of the country’s small businesses rely on cash to operate. Digital payments are safer than cash, both for businesses and customers. Facebook said today that digital payments will help more people get involved in the economy, and that it will give businesses access to credit, which is critical to business growth.
Indonesia is one of Facebook’s largest Asian markets. In April, Reuters reported that the social giant was in talks with a local fintech company to launch a mobile payment service in the market. Facebook said today that the investment would support the common goal of Facebook and Gojek to strengthen businesses and promote financial inclusion across the islands.
PayPal said Wednesday that its business partnership with Gojek will significantly grow its presence and size in Southeast Asia. “This new partnership is another positive step in our global choice of payment partners, and will help drive global commerce by connecting to the world’s leading markets and payment networks,” the company said in a statement. “
GoJek says it has accumulated more than 170m users in Southeast Asia. The company disclosed that it raised $1.2 billion from employees in March, valuing it at about $10 billion. The company said at the time that it had raised nearly $3 billion in the past few years.