Business

Jasmine Solana

Indonesia’s ride-hailing giant Go-Jek takes a stake in Coins.ph

Philippine-based blockchain services platform Coins.ph has found a partner in Go-Jek.

On Friday, the Indonesian ride-hailing giant announced that it is acquiring a “substantial” number of shares of the Philippine-based fintech company, e27 first reported. The details of the transactions were not disclosed, although it was noted that there will be no impact to Coins.ph customers and that the Coins.ph team “will continue in their existing roles.”

Go-Jek plans to combine the “technological expertise, scalability and experience in Indonesia” of its Go-Pay payments platform with Coins.ph’s “deep local knowledge” all in a bid “to encourage cashless financial transactions in the Philippines,” according to the report.

Established in 2014, Coins.ph operates under a Certificate of Registration from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), allowing it to formally operate as a virtual currency exchange in the country. As of December 2018, the platform has already grown its customer base to over 5 million, processing over 6 million transactions per month.

The Philippines is reportedly one of the four markets that Go-Jek, a tech unicorn with a $9 billion valuation, has trained its sights on for its overseas expansion last year. The Indonesian company, however, hit a roadblock after its plans to start a transport network company in the Philippines—via its local affiliate Velox Technology Philippines—were rejected by local regulators over potential violations of foreign ownership laws.

Now, it appears that Go-Jek is not giving up on the Philippines.

In a statement, Go-Jek Founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim described the Philippines as “one of the most exciting markets in South Asia,” one “with the second largest population and a strong domestic economy.”

“Supporting the success of a local fintech entrepreneurial champion like Coins.ph, with a similar ambition to empower society through innovation and technology, has always been part of our passion for growth,” Makarim said, adding that the “announcement marks the start of our long-term commitment to the Philippines and a continuation of our mission to use technology to improve everyday lives and create a positive social impact.”

For his part, Coins.ph Founder and CEO Ron Hose said the two companies “share the same vision” of “empowering their customers by giving them lower-cost and more convenient access to services.”

According to Hose, “Together we have a tremendous opportunity and by leveraging Go-Jek’s resources and expertise, we can give Filipinos even more convenience, choice, and access to the services they want.”

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