Indonesia’s Go-Jek Acquires Philippine-Based Crypto Wallet
Indonesia’s leading ride-sharing firm Go-Jek has partnered Philippine crypto wallet Coins.ph, with the Indonesian firm making a “substantial investment” in the payments platform.
Concerns over ownership had prevented Go-Jek from making an entry into the Philippines market. However, that has changed with the January 18 announcement of their partnership.
Go-Jek acquires Coins.ph
According to local news outlets, Go-Jek has acquired the majority stake in Coins.ph, with reports putting the investment at $72 million. It is the company’s largest investment to date.
Go-Jek launched its services in 2011 and has grown into a sizable business attracting more than 5 million Indonesians. The company has reportedly been processing more than 6 million transactions monthly.
Philippine Fintech Coins.ph launched operations in 2014, with $10 million invested so far via contributions from two venture efforts and two funding rounds.
Go-Jek says that the partnership will offer Coins.ph an opportunity to continue its growth efforts as the crypto exchange strives to “meet the financial needs of all Filipinos.”
Users can access the exchange platform to purchase Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Ethereum (ETH) as well as use crypto to settle various online payments like bills.
Coins.ph CEO and co-founder Ron Hose noted that the crypto wallet was in the process of initiating new funding round when the Go-Jek opportunity appeared. The company, which is developing its exchange platform, will now benefit from its collaboration with the Indonesian firm’s payments unit Go-Pay.
Hose explained that the acquisition presents them with a chance to “showcase the success of Philippine startups,” adding that:
“In just a few years, our team has been able to build a scalable service extending financial services to millions of Filipinos.”
Go-Pay launched its services in 2016 and has seen significant growth since currently accounting for more than half of all Go-Jek transactions. Per the Manila Standard report, Coins.ph will continue its normal operations even after the deal closes.
The founder and CEO of Go-Jek Nadiem Makarim said that the partnership marked the beginning of the company’s “long-term commitment to the Philippines” as it continues its mission of using technology to improve lives.
Go-Jek finding it tough to penetrate the Philippine market
Go-Jek is backed by tech giants Tencent and Google, an aspect that could see it go on to conquer the Southeast Asia market.
However, while it has acquired a majority stake in Coins.ph, its efforts to penetrate the Philippines’ ride-sharing market have, for a long time, been limited by ownership-related issues.
A couple of weeks ago, Philippines regulator – the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) – rejected an application for a ride-hailing permit by Velox Technology a subsidiary of Go-Jek.
According to Martin Delgra, the LTFRB chairman, the Velox application failed to “meet the citizenship requirement and the application was not verified in accordance with our rules.”
The Filipino regulatory body has stated that Go-Jek fully owns it Velox subsidiary, whose application for a permit was filed in August. That was just before a change in regulation introduced a limit to foreign ownership in ride-hailing services to 40 percent.
What is more, the Philippines Department of Transportation has moved to limit the number of vehicles that can register for ride-sharing services to 65,000.
As Go-Jek looks to enter the competitive market, over 37,000 of these vehicles are already registered by eight firms.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.