Gojek drivers waiting for passengers in Indonesia.
afif c. kusuma | iStock Editorial | Getty Images
The U.S. tech giant did not want to reveal the size of its investment when contacted by CNBC, but Facebook said in a blog post Tuesday evening that it underscores the company’s efforts to help bring small businesses online.
“This investment will support Facebook and Gojek’s shared goal of empowering businesses and driving financial inclusion across the archipelago,” Matt Idema, WhatsApp’s chief operating officer, said in the blog post.
“WhatsApp helps small businesses communicate with customers and make sales, and together with Gojek, we believe we can bring millions of people into Indonesia’s growing digital economy,” Idema said.
Gojek did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comments.
The investment into Gojek follows a $5.7 billion investment Facebook made in April to India’s Jio Platforms — the digital subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries, owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani.
That investment gave the social network a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms at a pre-money enterprise value of $65.95 billion.
Both India and Indonesia have large populations that are coming online. They present a valuable opportunity for global tech companies like Facebook to build out their commercial services to micro, small and medium-sized businesses, particularly through the popular messaging service WhatsApp.
Gojek already has a number of prominent backers including Google and Singapore state investor Temasek. The Indonesian start-up has a valuation of $10 billion, according to CB Insights. It raised $1.2 billion of fresh funds in March, reports said.
The company competes with Singapore-headquartered Grab in Southeast Asia across areas such as ride-hailing, payments and food delivery. Both companies say they aim to become the region’s top “super app” — where multiple services are bundled into a single application.