Pouring capital into Gojek right after entering the e-commerce sector, what ambitions is Facebook harbouring?
|Facebook has invested in Indonesia-based Gojek |
The ride-hailing circle last week was astonished by news that the social networking site announced an investment in Indonesia-based Gojek that is present in Vietnam under the name of Go-Viet. Accordingly, Facebook has been working on expanding to emerging markets as well as seeking partners for its WhatsApp application.
This is the second-largest deal Facebook has conducted the last seven weeks. In April, the US-based platform purchased 10 per cent of Indian Reliance Jio at $5.7 billion.
Despite not revealing the value of the investment, Gojek most recently announced that it has received more than $3 billion from its Series F investment round. This suggests that along with the recent investment of PayPal, Facebook's capital in Gojek is not small at all.
Facebook is planning to set up an e-commerce platform linked with WhatsApp and integrated payment features. Currently, companies running business on Facebook can also use WhatsApp as a tool to interact with customers.
“This investment will support Facebook and Gojek’s shared goal of empowering businesses and driving financial inclusion across the archipelago. WhatsApp helps small businesses communicate with customers and make sales, and together with Gojek, we believe we can bring millions of people into Indonesia’s growing digital economy,” Facebook said in a blog spot.
The ambition is also reflected by its launch of the new feature named Shops last month – which is very similar to online shopping platforms and is seen as a direct offensive to break into e-commerce. The tool supports businesses in setting up virtual stores to sell items both on Facebook and Instagram.
Thus, with the latest move of injecting capital into Gojek, Facebook may be nursing aspirations of dominating Southeast Asia where the market is shaped by Singaporean e-commerce giant Shopee and ride-hailing platform Grab. Meanwhile, Gojek is a big counterpart in the area, so using the Indonesian player as a jumping board to enter the market is a good choice.
In addition to Facebook, Gojek is backed by Google, Tencent, and Singaporean fund Temasek. The startup's value was assessed at $10 billion in the latest investment round and is now the largest unicorn in Indonesia.