Air Asia Group to acquire Thai operations of Indonesia’s Gojek in digital push

07 Jul 2021


Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia Group said it will buy Indonesian ride-hailing and payments firm Gojek's Thailand business in an all-stock deal that gives Gojek a 4.76 per cent stake in the airline's lifestyle platform. 

AirAsia Group Bhd said the acquisition is being made through its digital unit AirAsia Digital and that it will be launching its super app in early August.
AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes said the “win-win” all-share deal worth $50 million sets both parties with a strong foundation to explore additional avenues for collaboration in ASEAN.
In a virtual press conference, Fernandes said that Gojek’s investment is valued at $40 million while GoPay’s is at $10 million, and these will be transferred into shares for the AirAsia Super App, which is valued at $1 billion.
He said the acquisition and AirAsia’s long-term strategic partnership with Gojek, Southeast Asia’s leading mobile on-demand services and payments platform, is aimed at supercharging the group’s ambitions in the Thai market.
AirAsia, which has a major presence in Malaysia, expects the acquisition to help it push further into Asean, with Thailand being the next big port of call. 
“We are already quite present in Singapore, and beginning to launch different businesses in Indonesia and the Philippines. We will move from an ASEAN airline, into an ASEAN lifestyle with our digital products on payment logistics and super app,” he said.
AirAsia, in a statement, said the AirAsia Super App is an all-in-one platform with a growing number of travel, lifestyle and rewards offerings for everyday needs and access to vast amounts of data to provide customised offerings for customers.
Fernandes added that travel is going to be a big part of the super app. According to him, most other apps in the Asean do not have the depth of travel that AirAsia has.
“We have been selling AirAsia tickets for 19 years, but as of today, we sell all of our competitor’s tickets as well. We are well on our way to becoming an Expedia or an Agoda.
“We have our own product called SNAP, which uses artificial intelligence to enable you to book a hotel room and flight very quickly and get the best hotel and flight deal to anywhere,” he said.
Fernandes said AirAsia Digital is set to be the group’s long-term strategy, citing the strong ecosystem of fintech and logistics that the unit has built through its apps Teleport and BigPay.
“In a year and a half we have built 1.2 million members in BigPay, and it has become one of the leading fintech, and that comes out as a huge amount of data that we have acquired. 
“It is absolutely a long-term strategy, we are not going into this just for the short term. The airline will come back just like airlines are coming back in America and Europe, and we believe our airline will be stronger than it was pre-Covid-19," he added.
Gojek, which launched operations in Thailand in 2019, said it is starting a new chapter as it passes the reins of operations in Thailand to Airasia Digital. Gojek services (GoRide, GoFood, GoSend) as well as GoPay transactions for Gojek services in Thailand will continue to operate through 31 July, while AirAsia prepares for the launch of an all-new super app experience in the country soon, Gojeck added.
Gojek has advised customers to withdraw their GoPay balance by 31 July and that top-ups will be disabled for GoPay wallets from 7 July. However, users will still be able to use their balances to pay for Gojek services through 31 July. GoPay balances should be paid down or withdrawn on or prior to 31 July.
Gojek services - GoRide, GoSend, GoFood – will continue to be available through the Gojek app until 31 July 2021.
All existing vouchers and discounts will be honored through 31 July, it added.
AirAsia Group Bhd (AAGB) ramped up its digital presence in Thailand with the purchase of two Thai technology companies for a total of US$50mil (RM207.82mil) cash consideration.

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