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A ride on Indonesia's first and only 'unicorn'

In Indonesia, the motorbike often reigns supreme over cars. In addition to the obvious reasons of affordability and efficiency, heavy traffic is a large factor. Jakarta, for instance is one of the most congested cities in the world.

More than 76 million motorbikes were registered in the nation as of 2012, according to The Jakarta Post, citing the Central Statistics Agency.

Capitalizing on that popularity is Go-Jek, an app used commonly for ride-hailing of motorbikes. The company was reportedly valued at $1.3 billion dollars, making it Indonesia's first and only unicorn.

The company's backers include Formation Group, Sequoia Capital and Warburg Pincus.

A Gojek rider transports a passenger in Jakarta on February 2, 2017.
Bay Ismoyo | AFP | Getty Images
A Gojek rider transports a passenger in Jakarta on February 2, 2017.

CNBC recently tested out the service on the Indonesian island of Bali. The 10-minute ride on a motorbike, cost the equivalent of about 30-cents. While cash payment was accepted, using payment platform GoPay would have offered a roughly 25-percent discount.

Southeast Asia has seen Uber and Singapore-based Grab expand aggressively, and both companies also offer a motorbike option in parts of Indonesia.

"It's a most uniquely positioned company and I don't see it as a pure Uber or Grab competitor but as a hybrid tech play. Its payments capabilities and wide array of customer offerings are most interesting," Ozi Amanat, founder of venture capital firm K2 Global told CNBC.

"Southeast Asia is a vibrant economy with a massive population and growing spending power," he added.

Indonesia is by far the largest nation in the region, with a population of roughly 250 million people. In addition to Go-Jek being homegrown, it's also at the early stages of potentially creating its very own ecosystem, similar to WeChat in China.

Not only can users order a ride from bikes and cars, Go-Jek is also used as a food delivery service and as an online payments system. For instance, users can order Starbucks on the app and a biker then picks up the job for delivery.

Go-Jek was recently in talks to raise an additional $1 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.