AirAsia’s superapp business has been valued at around $1 billion, while Gojek’s Thai business has been valued at a total of $50 million, AirAsia said in a stock exchange filing.
The agreement shows how AirAsia is trying to join the ranks of Southeast Asia’s superapps alongside Gojek and Grab, with a business spanning ride-hailing and delivery to online payments.
“By taking on Gojek’s well-established Thai business, we’ll be able to turbocharge our ambitions in this space to become a leading ASEAN challenger superapp,” said Tony Fernandes, the Group CEO of AirAsia.
Gojek’s app in Thailand will run until the end of July, and AirAsia hopes to have its superapp up and running in August. Fernandes added in an online news conference on Wednesday that there will be no redundancies arising from the transition.
The deal shows how Gojek is reshaping its regional business in the wake of its announcement in May that it would merge with Tokopedia — one of Indonesia’s largest e-commerce platforms — to form GoTo.
The deal would allow Gojek to increase investments in Vietnam and Singapore, the companies said.
Kevin Aluwi, CEO of Gojek, said during an online news conference that talks between the companies began around two months ago.
“When we look at where we could really deploy our product and engineering resources, not just capital … we decided that our priority was to invest in Singapore and Vietnam,” Aluwi said, “just because of the scale of business we have in those markets.”
He added that the company can find “a path to market leadership” in the two countries.
AirAsia Digital, including the company’s non-airline businesses, already includes food and fresh food delivery, courier services, an e-commerce platform and a payment gateway but has lacked ride-hailing compared with the other big players in the market.
AirAsia has been present in Thailand’s aviation industry since 2003 via Thai AirAsia. It currently operates in Malaysia and Singapore while its stand-alone cargo company Teleport is present in major countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand.
GoTo lags its rivals in international expansion. Tokopedia only operates in Indonesia, while Gojek has operations in three countries outside of its home market — Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore.
According to Nikkei Asia