Nikkei Asia has just reported that AirAsia (a Malaysian airline) will buy Gojek’s business in Thailand. Confirming the above information, Gojek and AirAsia have announced an agreement in which the Indonesian technology group will hold an unspecified stake in AirAsia’s digital services business. Currently, the companies say AirAsia Digital has a market value of about $1 billion.
As can be seen, AirAsia is trying to join the ranks of Southeast Asia’s super apps alongside Gojek and Grab, with businesses that include ride-hailing, delivery and online payments.
Currently, AirAsia Digital, including the company’s non-airline businesses, has businesses in the food and fresh food delivery, courier services, e-commerce platforms and payment gateways. However, the company still lacks ride-hailing services compared to other major players in the market.
By taking over Gojek’s Thailand business, they will be able to advance their ambitions in this area to become a leading ASEAN super app, Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia said.
The deal also shows how Gojek is reshaping its business in the region, after announcing in May that it would merge with Tokopedia one of Indonesia’s largest e-commerce platforms.
This agreement will allow Gojek to focus on international markets, targeting Vietnam and Singapore – markets that offer them the best return on investment and strategic growth opportunities, Gojek CEO Kevin Aluwi said.
In May, GoTo (Gojek’s name after merging with Tokopedia) remained committed in all markets outside of Indonesia. But GoTo falls far short of its rivals in international expansion. In addition to the domestic market, Gojek has operations in three countries Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore, while Tokopedia currently only operates in Indonesia. Meanwhile, Grab operates in eight Southeast Asian countries.
The Thai super app market is considered particularly competitive. Central Group invested $200 million in Grab’s Thailand subsidiary in 2019, while Thailand’s largest conglomerate, Charoen Pokphand Group, is working on developing its TrueID content app.