Go-Jek, Indonesia’s largest on-demand multi-service platform partners with Coins.ph, a Philippine crypto wallet and payments platform, to access the local ride-sharing market.
The announcement came after Go-Jek was declined to enter the Philippines market earlier this month due to foreign ownership concerns. Go-Jek has made a “substantial investment” in the FinTech firm by acquiring a majority stake in the business of Coins.ph.
“To support Coins.ph in its rapid growth to meet the financial needs of all Filipinos.”
Reportedly, unofficial sources have quoted this transaction to be the largest to date by the company at $72 million.
Launched in 2011, Go-Jek minces over 6 million transactions on a monthly basis and a consumer base of over 5 million Indonesians. Coins.ph have attracted $10 million from investors through two venture and two Series A funding rounds, since its launch in 2014.
The Foreign Ownership Issues
Go- Jet has been eyeing the Southeast Asian ride-sharing market for a while. However, it received a backlash in the Philippines.
The Philippines Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) have denied Go-Jek’s subsidiary, Velox Technology Philippines application for a Manila ride-hailing service permit, earlier this month.
The chairman of the regulator, Martin Delgra said in an interview for Reuters that the company
“did not meet the citizenship requirement and the application was not verified in accordance with our rules.”
The regulator further asserts that Go-Jek’s subsidiary is fully-owned by the company. Filed in August, the Velox’ application for a permit to operate a ride-sharing service in Manila was followed by a regulatory change that limited foreign ownership of ride-hailing services to 40%.
While the Indonesian giant is facing troubles, its direct competitor, Singapore-based Grab, has evolved itself as a major player in the Southeast Asian ride-hailing market by complying with the local limitations on foreign ownership.
The Go-Jek’s app is a one-stop platform that enables the user to avails various services ranging from ordering food to conducting online payments. With a backing of over $3.3 billion by the likes of Tencent and Google, it is highly unlikely that such troubles will last long for Go-Jek.
The Filipino-based platform enables the users to buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum and use crypto for various online payments such as payments of bills.
Ron Hose, the CEO, and co-founder of Coins.ph, said that the platform was about to initiate new funding round when Go-Pay, Go-Jek’s payments platform and the leading digital payments service in Indonesia presented them with this oppurtunity. He added:
“We are very proud to showcase the success of Philippine startups. In just a few years, our team has been able to build a scalable service extending financial services to millions of Filipinos.”
Nadiem Makarim, founder and CEO of Go-Jek remarked:
“We are humbled to take part in the country’s digital payments transformation, through technology and empowerment of fintech small-medium businesses. […] Today’s announcement marks the start of our long-term commitment to the Philippines and a continuation of our mission to use technology to improve everyday lives and create a positive social impact.”