HONG KONG (Reuters) - JD.com Inc (JD.O) has invested in Indonesian ride-hailing startup Go-Jek, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, in the latest move by China’s second-largest e-commerce firm to tap growth in Southeast Asian mobile-based services.
Go-Jek, whose investors include global private equity firms KKR & Co LP (KKR.N) and Warburg Pincus LLC [WP.UL] as well as venture capitalist Sequoia Capital, has raised about $100 million from JD.com, one of the people said.
The startup is raising up to $1 billion from existing and new investors in its latest funding round and has a pre-money valuation of about $2.5 billion, the person said.
The people declined to be identified as the financing plans are not public. JD.com and Go-Jek declined to comment.
Indonesia currently accounts for almost all of JD.com’s investments outside China, which include an e-commerce platform and travel startup Traveloka.
JD.com’s investment in Go-Jek follows that of Chinese social media and online entertainment firm Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK), which is also an investor in JD.com. Reuters reported last month that Tencent had invested $100 million to $150 million in Go-Jek.
The people said Tencent is also in talks with Go-Jek for further investment as a strategic investor.
Tencent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Investment in Southeast Asia by some of China’s largest tech firms point to ambitions to boost their presence in a region that many expect to produce the next batch of high-valued tech startups.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) and Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing firm, have also been investing in Southeast Asia, home to more than 600 million people and some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
Didi, along with Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T), last month led a $2.5 billion financing round of Singapore-based Grab, one of Go-Jek’s biggest rivals in Southeast Asia.
Go-Jek, which began as a ride-hailing app for motorcycle taxis, mainly operates in Indonesia, the region’s most populous country, which has grown to be a large potential market for Grab and Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL].
Amid fierce competition in ride-hailing, Go-Jek is also developing food delivery business that a separate person said yields a much higher margin than car-hailing. Its mobile payment business, Go-Pay, is growing rapidly as it is complementary with other Go-Jek offerings, the person said.
People close to the matter previously told Reuters that Go-Jek aims to close the current funding round in the third quarter.
Online technology newspaper The Information first reported JD.com’s Go-Jek investment earlier on Friday.
Reporting by Julie Zhu; Additional reporting by Kane Wu; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Kim Coghill