Google has invested in Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek – here’s why

Google vice-president Caesar Gupta said the company’s investment in Go-Jek is part of its strategy to participate in Indonesia’s flourishing startup ecosystem.

Google has explained why it has invested in ride-hailing company Go-Jek, which lists Uber and Grab as its competitors in Indonesia.

In a blog post on Google’s company blog entitled “Investing in Indonesia” , vice-president Caesar Gupta said the investment is one way to support and participate in the country’s flourishing startup ecosystem while deepening its commitment to Indonesia’s internet economy.

He wrote: “By investing in local companies, building locally relevant products and training local talent, we hope to see more amazing local champions like Go-Jek emerge in Indonesia.”

He said that Indonesia is home to the fifth largest population of internet users in the world – with more than 133 million people online – and that its “online journey” has only just begun.

“Indonesians continue to embrace the internet rapidly and half of Indonesia’s population has yet to connect to the internet,” he added.

On Jan 19, Reuters reported that Google, Singapore’s Temasek and China’s Meituan-Dianping were investing in Go-Jek as part of a $1.2 billion fundraising round.

Grab and Uber are backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group while Go-Jek has also secured investments from China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd and Inc.