By Fanny Potkin
Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment company Go-Jek has invested in digital media startup Kumparan as part of its expansion into online content, it said.
Go-Jek, whose backers include Alphabe Inc's Google and China's Tencent Holdings, has grown rapidly since launching eight years ago in Indonesia, a country with a population of more than 250 million people.
The company already offers a wide range of app-based services outside ride-hailing, such as food delivery and movie tickets, as it competes with the other main ride-hailing app operating in Indonesia, Singapore-based Grab, which bought the Southeast Asian business of Uber Technologies this year.
Go-Jek said the investment in Jakarta-based media startup Kumparan had been done through its recently launched venture capital arm Go-Ventures, but did not disclose the size of its funding.
Kumparan is a hybrid news and social media platform that enables users to create content.
"There will be a series of strategic collaborations that we are exploring with Kumparan in supporting Indonesia’s technological developments," said Go-Jek's corporate affairs chief Nila Marita.
Go-Jek is betting heavily on becoming an online multimedia content provider for Indonesia and set up its own in-house studio in 2018 to produce original films, in partnership with local film production houses.
The company plans to eventually launch a subscription-based original content service.
"At present, we are still in the exploration phase of the concept related to the creation of creative content," a spokesperson for Go-Jek told Reuters.
"As a local company, Go-Jek will continue to support local content creators."
(Reporting by Fanny Potkin; Editing by Robert Birsel)