Facebook, PayPal invest in Indonesian super app Gojek

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Facebook Inc FB.O messaging platform WhatsApp and PayPal Holdings Inc PYPL.O on Wednesday said they have invested in payment, food delivery and ride-hailing app operator Gojek as part of the Indonesian firm's ongoing fundraising round.

FILE PHOTO: Commuters pass by a Gojek advertisement in Singapore, March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

WhatsApp and PayPal did not disclose the size of the investment. A Gojek investor told Reuters the Facebook investment, the first for the firm in Southeast Asia, was “meaningful”.

According to a regulatory filing, Facebook now owns a 2.4 percent stake in Gojek’s GoPay fintech arm, while PayPal owns 0.6 percent of GoPay.

WhatsApp Chief Operations Officer Matt Idema said in a blog post his company would work with Gojek “to support the growth of millions of small businesses”.

The move is expected to help Facebook and WhatsApp, which have more than 100 million users in Indonesia, tap into the country's fast-growing e-commerce sector. It comes just over a month since Facebook's $5.7 billion investment in the digital arm of India's Reliance Industries RELI.NS.

Reuters reported in April that Facebook was in talks with Gojek about an investment and was working with three e-wallets in Indonesia, including Gojek’s GoPay, to launch mobile payment services.

PayPal said in a statement its “payment capabilities would be integrated into Gojek’s services” and enable its users to use GoPay at PayPal merchants globally.

Gojek was founded in 2010 as a ride-hailing firm and has since evolved into a one-stop app through which users can make online payments and order food and services.

In a statement, Gojek said existing investors Tencent 0700.HK and Google GOOGL.O also joined the latest fundraising round, which people with direct knowledge of the matter said valued the firm at $10 billion.

The fundraising had reached $1.2 billion as of March, showed an internal memo reviewed by Reuters.

Funding talks with Inc AMZN.O, have been dropped, as have talks for existing backer Meituan Dianping 3690.HK to take a much larger stake, the people said.

Gojek and Amazon declined to comment. Meituan Dianping did not respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Fanny Potkin; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Christopher Cushing