Founders: Kevin Aluwi (co-CEO), Andre Soelistyo (co-CEO), Nadiem Makarim
Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia
Funding: $5.2 billion (PitchBook)
Valuation: $10 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies: Artificial intelligence, cloud computing, deep learning, facial recognition, machine learning, software-defined security
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 1 (No. 10 in 2020)
In 2010, when Nadiem Makarim launched his Indonesian ride-hailing service Gojek, he was simply trying to improve his country's dysfunctional motorcycle taxi industry. It has since become Indonesia's first unicorn company, having branched out well beyond ride-sharing and into other business areas including food delivery, digital payments and logistics. It is now present in more than 200 cities across five Southeast Asian countries but Indonesia remains its top market.
Makarim left the company in 2019 to serve as Indonesia's Minister of Education and Culture, passing the torch to co-CEOs Kevin Aluwi and Andre Soelistyo.
Under new leadership, Gojek continues to lead and innovate. Earlier this month, the company said that it plans to make every car and motorcycle on its platform an electric vehicle (EV) by 2030. Dubbed the "Three Zeros" agenda, the company aims to reach zero emissions, zero waste and zero socio-economic barriers by the end of the decade, Aluwi told CNBC.
The 11-year-old company will invest in a series of EV pilot programs across Southeast Asia, as well as launching what it claims is a "world-first" in-app carbon offsetting feature.
Throughout the pandemic, most companies in Indonesia have gone through a particularly difficult time, including transportation services which have been severely affected, according to Aluwi. While Gojek has also felt the pinch, he credits the company's diversification across food delivery, grocery delivery and logistics with providing "meaningful pockets of growth."
Last week, Gojek announced its merger with e-commerce player Tokopedia to form the GoTo Group. Without disclosing the value of the transaction, Gojek claimed the agreement marked the largest business deal in the country's history. The ultimate goal is said to be a potential IPO with an expected public market valuation target between $35 billion and $40 billion, Bloomberg reported in February.
The merger will likely help Gojek and Tokopedia to take on larger, regional rivals such as Singapore-headquartered Grab, a CNBC Disruptor 50 company that became ineligible for the 2021 list after inking its SPAC deal with Altimeter Growth Corp., and internet company Sea, which operates e-commerce platform Shopee and has a digital payments and financial services business.
—Contributed by Riley de León
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