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Today (29/01) it was confirmed by Google that it invested in Indonesia-based Go-Jek, the leading ride-hailing company in Southeast Asia's largest economy. The confirmation stemmed from Google Vice President of Product Management Caesar Sengupta's post, titled "Google in Asia - Investing in Indonesia", on the company's blog.
Besides (on demand) motorcycle and taxi services, Go-Jek also offers various delivery services, ranging from food, groceries, packages, to massages on demand. It also has a mobile payment system. Ride-hailing in the Southeast Asian region is estimated to become a USD $20.1 billion per year industry by the year 2025, up from USD $5.1 billion in 2017. Indonesia is estimated to account for 40 percent of the cake.
Investment in Indonesia is part of Google's strategy to support and to participate in the thriving Internet economy of Indonesia. With more than 133 million Indonesians "being online" in the world's largest archipelago (hence being the world's fifth-largest Internet population), Internet and Internet-related activities have become increasingly important in this country. Meanwhile, with only about 50 percent of the total population currently being online (Indonesia numbers more than 260 million inhabitants), the journey has just begun.
In the post Sengupta wrote that Google's ambition is to help Indonesians develop the next great startup. In that context Google has already trained nearly 60,000 Indonesians on mobile app development, toward its goal of reaching 100,000 developers by the year 2020. To assist more Indonesian small companies tap into the potential and power of the Internet, Google's Gapura Digital initiative has already trained more than 40,000 small business owners in ten Indonesian cities, with more cities to follow.
Another way for Google to support the development of Indonesia's Internet economy is by investing in one of the country's leading startups: Go-Jek.
Earlier this month Reuters reported that Google, Singapore state investor Temasek and others were planning to invest in Go-Jek as part of a USD $1.2 billion fundraising round, bolstering the Indonesian start-up in its battle with rivals Grab and Uber.