Google Grabs a Gojek, Indicating Interest in Indonesia and Motorcycle Hailing

Google said Monday it has invested in Indonesian motorcycle-hailing startup GoJek, a rival to Uber Technologies Inc., as the Alphabet Inc. unit looks for more ways to tap into the growth of the Southeast Asian nation's internet economy.

Google didn't disclose the amount of the investment. A spokesman for GoJek didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

GoJek, which is backed by KKR Co., Warburg Pincus LLC and others, has expanded quickly from offering transportation to services such as food and package deliveries. It is racing against Uber and Singapore-based Grab for customers in the country.

The investment marks the first time that Google has plowed funds into an Asian ride-hailing firm, a Google spokesman said.

"This investment lets us partner with a great local champion," Google executive Caesar Sengupta said in a blog post.

"Indonesia's online journey has just gotten started," Mr. Sengupta said, noting that the country is home to more than 133 million web users, with half of the country's population still yet to get online.

Write to Newley Purnell at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 29, 2018 04:17 ET (09:17 GMT)