KKR, Warburg invest in Indonesian motorcycle-hailing app

The two private equity heavyweights, investors in Jakarta-based GO-JEK’s latest financing round, are riding a wave of deals in Asia’s fast-growing on-demand transport services sector.

A group of investors including global private equity firms KKR, Warburg Pincus, Farallon Capital, and Capital Group Private Markets are investing over $550 million in the latest funding round of Indonesian motorcycle hailing app GO-JEK, according to a joint statement.

Launched in 2015, Jakarta-based GO-JEK, which has over 200,000 drivers in Indonesia, provides motorbike-taxi (known as “ojeks”) and delivery services across the country. More recently, customers have started using the app to book cleaning services, beauticians and masseuses. 

GO-JEK is reportedly looking to raise new funds worth $400 million, in a financing round that would value the company at more than $1 billion. GO-JEK chief executive Nadiem Makarim said in a report that the investment will be used to help the business expand to other parts of Indonesia.

“With a rapidly expanding middle class, increasing urban density and a young demographic that is internet savvy, GO-JEK is well positioned to become the ‘go to’ platform for high frequency daily services including transport, food, logistics and payment,” Jeffrey Perlman, head of South-East Asia for Warburg Pincus said. “We look forward to leveraging our global network of partners and experience in the technology and consumer sectors to help the company build the leading internet platform in Indonesia and across the region.”

Asia-focused private equity players have ramped up investments in on-demand transportation apps in recent years, as they seek to benefit from increasing urbanisation and consumer demand in the region.

In Indonesia, transportation is a key growth sector in consumer services, with consumer spend per year forecast to grow from $13 billion in 2011 to $20 billion by 2030, a compound annual growth rate of 4.6 percent, according to a 2012 report by the McKinsey Global Institute.

Across Asia, investors buying into Internet-based on-demand transport services include Temasek, which backed Chinese taxi app Didi Chuxing, and Singapore’s GIC, which has funded Indian taxi and rickshaw app Ola.

San Francisco-based Capital International Private Equity, Beijing-based China Life Insurance, and Ping An Ventures, the venture capital arm or China’s largest insurance company Ping An Insurance Group, have also backed earlier funding rounds of Didi Chuxing.

GO-JEK is backed by Singapore-based NSI Ventures, part of the Northstar Group, Menlo Park-based venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, and DST Global, a Moscow-headquartered investment firm owned by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner.

This post has been updated. An earlier version listed Softbank and Vertex Ventures as investors in GO-JEK.