Business

Google confirms investment in Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek

SINGAPORE: Google has made its first ride-hailing investment in Asia by pumping money into Go-Jek, as the Indonesian start-up and its rivals rapidly expand their app-based services and digital payments in South-east Asia.

"The funding deepens Google's commitment to Indonesia's Internet economy," Mr Caesar Sengupta, a vice-president at Google said in a company blog yesterday.

The announcement comes two weeks after sources told Reuters that Google and Singapore's investment company, Temasek Holdings, were among those investing in Go-Jek as part of a US$1.2 billion (S$1.6 billion) fund-raising round. Sources said Google was investing about US$100 million.

Ride-hailing firms are investing tens of millions to expand their digital payment systems and are also seeking to allow their users to pay for third-party services.

Both Grab and Uber are expanding in Indonesia, which is South-east Asia's most populous country. Go-Jek, a play on the local word for motorbike taxis, delivers everything from meals to cleaners across Jakarta.- REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE