Indonesian telecom network Telkomsel invests $150 million in Gojek

Telkomsel, Indonesia’s biggest telecom network, has invested $150 million in ride-hailing firm Gojek, the two companies said on Tuesday.

As part of the “strategic partnership,” the two firms said they will explore a “broad range of collaboration opportunities” to reach millions of Indonesians. Since 2018, Gojek and Telkomsel have maintained a deal to subsidize the cost of mobile data consumed by the ride-hailing firm’s driver partners.

With more than 170 million subscribers, Telkomsel is the largest telecom operator in Indonesia. In addition to ride-hailing, Gojek has expanded to several additional businesses, including digital payments and food delivery in Indonesia.

The firm, which has raised over $3 billion to date and was valued at about $10 billion earlier this year, is backed by some of the biggest names in tech, including Facebook, Google, PayPal and Tencent. Gojek, which also serves about 170 million users, competes with just as heavily-backed firm Grab, which is reportedly in talks to raise an additional $3 billion from Alibaba.

Moreover, the two lossmaking giants, according to several reports, have renewed their talks for a merger in recent months (amid the pandemic) in a move that could theoretically help them reach profitability. Both companies have declined to comment on these supposed merger talks.

“This is a great day for Gojek and for Indonesia, as we strengthen our collaboration with Telkomsel, one of Indonesia’s most forward-looking telecommunication companies. By working together, we hope to help Indonesia become a true digital powerhouse in Southeast Asia, and bring the benefits of the digital economy to millions more consumers, driver-partners and small businesses,” said Gojek co-chief executive Andre Soelistyo in a statement today.