September 8, 2018 / 6:06 AM / 9 months ago

Indonesia's Go-Jek invests in online media startup as part of expansion

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment company Go-Jek has invested in digital media startup Kumparan as part of its expansion into online content, it said.

A Go-Jek driver rides a motorcycle on a street in Jakarta, Indonesia, December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Go-Jek, whose backers include Alphabe Inc’s Google and China’s Tencent Holdings, has grown rapidly since launching eight years ago in Indonesia, a country with a population of more than 250 million people.

The company already offers a wide range of app-based services outside ride-hailing, such as food delivery and movie tickets, as it competes with the other main ride-hailing app operating in Indonesia, Singapore-based Grab, which bought the Southeast Asian business of Uber Technologies this year.

Go-Jek said the investment in Jakarta-based media startup Kumparan had been done through its recently launched venture capital arm Go-Ventures, but did not disclose the size of its funding.

Kumparan is a hybrid news and social media platform that enables users to create content.

“There will be a series of strategic collaborations that we are exploring with Kumparan in supporting Indonesia’s technological developments,” said Go-Jek’s corporate affairs chief Nila Marita.

Go-Jek is betting heavily on becoming an online multimedia content provider for Indonesia and set up its own in-house studio in 2018 to produce original films, in partnership with local film production houses.

The company plans to eventually launch a subscription-based original content service.

“At present, we are still in the exploration phase of the concept related to the creation of creative content,” a spokesperson for Go-Jek told Reuters.

“As a local company, Go-Jek will continue to support local content creators.”

Reporting by Fanny Potkin; Editing by Robert Birsel

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