AirAsia Group has announced that its digital arm, AirAsia Digital, will acquire Gojek’s operations in Thailand. The deal is said to be a win-win for both AirAsia’s Super App expansion in Asean while allowing GoJek to increase their investments in Vietnam and Singapore.
According to Reuters, GoJek will get a 4.76% stake (USD 50 million) in AirAsia’s SuperApp which is now said to be valued at around USD 1 billion (about RM4.16 billion). That’s more than the airline’s current market value of USD 868 million (about RM3.61 billion).
As part of its commitment to Thailand, the AirAsia Super App will leverage on the existing ecosystem services for riders, merchants and customers while adding new offerings such as groceries and beauty items. It plans to expand into new markets such as Chiang Mai and Phuket in the near future. Meanwhile, the Gojek app will still continue to work for existing customers in Bangkok until 31st July 2021 to ensure stability for current Gojek drivers and merchant partners.
Gojek Thailand users will be invited to move to AirAsia Super App in the coming weeks. AirAsia said they will work closely with the existing Gojek Thailand team during the transition between the two apps.
After the acquisition, AirAsia will still face stiff competition in Thailand from rivals such as Line Man, Grab and Bolt that have dominant market share. Gojek Thailand currently offers ride-hailing, food delivery and payments.
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said today’s announcement is “the start of a tremendous long-term strategic partnership with Gojek which is sure to rock the industry.
“By taking on Gojek’s well-established Thai business, we’ll be able to turbo charge our ambitions in this space to become a leading Asean challenger super app.
“We already have a complete digital economy ecosystem. We have successfully established over 15 different non-airline products and lifestyle services on our digital eCommerce platform in Malaysia. Now it’s time to take it to the next level. In response to overwhelming regional demand, we are setting our sights on bringing our Super App offerings to all of our key markets, following the successful roll out in Thailand.
Commenting on the partnership, Gojek CEO Kevin Aluwi said “This deal is a testament to the accomplishments of our team in Thailand, who grew the business from nothing to an on-demand service provider that has made a difference to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country. The business was built on a huge amount of talent and passion and we will of course, work closely with our Thai employees as well as AirAsia through this transition. We are proud of and deeply grateful for everything Gojek Thailand has achieved, as well as for our loyal Thai consumers and driver and merchant partners, who have always been at the heart of what we do.
While COVID-19 has badly affected the airline sector, AirAsia took the opportunity to expand its digital business. In October, they launched AirAsia as a super app to rival companies such as Grab, Gojek and WeChat. The app offers a wide range of services from health care, food delivery and financial services. AirAsia is expected to introduce its ride-hailing service soon to compete with Grab which is a dominant player in Malaysia. Tony has recently shared a teaser photo of Toyota Vellfire and Alphard MPVs, and he said the experience will be different from what Malaysians are used to.