China’s ride-sharing leader Didi Chuxing agreed to acquire UberChina. Now Didi and Japanese giant SoftBank are said to be leading a $600 million investment in Singapore’s ride-hailing behemoth Grab (GrabTaxi, GrabCar, GrabBike), Uber’s most powerful rival in Southeast Asia. Motorcycle taxis are a very common form of unlicensed transport in Indonesia, where they are known as ojek. The motorbike taxis typically carry one passenger, who rides as the pillion behind the driver. Multiple passengers are common in some countries. Ojek can be found throughout Indonesia, from towns where traffic jams commonly hinder other forms of transport, to rural areas inaccessible by four-wheeled vehicles. Because of traffic, ojek are often the fastest form of transport, especially in Jakarta. Many people choose them over taxicabs, which are safer, but slower and more expensive. The widespread availability of cheap, domestic motorcycles made by Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki, and even cheaper ones imported from China, as well as credit schemes with which to purchase these, have resulted in the rapid growth of ojek. The ease with which driver’s licenses can be obtained has also been a contributing factor. Founded in 2010, Go-Jek is the first Indonesian mobile platform that touches across socio-economic classes and verticals at a high transaction frequency that includes transportation, food delivery, same-day delivery, grocery shopping, household cleaning, beauty and health and ticket sales. Go-Jek’s motorcycle transport service, Go-Ride, is the biggest service of its kind in Indonesia with more than 200,000 drivers. Outside of motorcycle transport, Go-Food is the second largest on-demand food delivery service in the world outside of China with over 15 million meals delivered since inception. Go-Pay, launched in April 2016, is now a fast-growing e-wallet solution in Indonesia. With credit card penetration in Indonesia at under 2% and online payment nascent, Go-Pay is essential in enabling a seamless transaction experience on Go-Jek services. Go-Jek and Go-Pay are best-positioned to capture wallet share from a growing online user base. Go-Jek’s mobile applications have been downloaded more than 20 million times as of June 30, 2016. In June 2016 only, there were over 20 million bookings on the Go-Jek platform, translating to roughly eight bookings per second being processed in that month. “Go-Jek is unique in its ability to be the number-one service provider across almost all key categories and the company has a real opportunity to strengthen its position as a leading mobile platform in Indonesia,” said Terence Lee, Director at KKR Asia. “We are excited to partner with Nadiem, Kevin, Andre and the entire Go-Jek management team. With a rapidly expanding middle class, increasing urban density and a young demographic that is internet savvy, Go-Jek is well positioned to become the ‘go to’ platform for high frequency daily services including transport, food, logistics and payment,” said Jeffrey Perlman, head of Southeast Asia for Warburg Pincus. “KKR, Warburg Pincus, Farallon, Capital Group and other participants in this fundraise not only bring global experience in the TMT sector, but they are also experienced local partners. With their support and investment, Go-Jek is poised to build on its initial success to become the largest on-demand application of choice for all Indonesians and improve the daily lives of more than 200,000 motorcycle and car driver partners, more than 35,000 Go-Food merchants whose businesses we helped grow and more than 3,000 service providers on our other on-demand services,” said Go-Jek co-founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim, a former McKinsey associate and Harvard MBA graduate. Indonesia, with the world’s fourth-largest population of more than 250 million people, is rapidly becoming a digital nation. Indonesia has 88.1 million active internet users and 36 percent of the population carry smartphones. Half of all smartphone users in Jakarta are users of Ojek mobile app services, having at least one such mobile app installed on their smartphones, according to Asian market research agency Cimigo. “Almost everyone in the mobile app Ojek market have used Go-Jek, a third have used GrabBike – usage of other brands is rare,” it says.]]>
Temasek led a $105 million Series F funding round for New York City-based enterprise social media management startup platform Sprinklr, at a $1.8 billion valuation. Privatization will provide SMRT with greater flexibility to focus on its primary role of delivering safe and high quality rail service, without short term pressures of being a listed company, in the midst of its transition to a new regulatory framework under the New Rail Financing Framework. SMRT is expected to face challenges, even under the new framework, with costs and uncertainties associated with an ageing and expanded network. SMRT will also need to focus on delivering on existing and new multi-year programs to support an ageing and expanded network, including the need to deliver a higher order of rail reliability and service in line with the heightened Maintenance Performance Standards to be determined by the LTA. “Taking the company private will allow SMRT to better fulfill its role as a public transport operator without the pressure of short-term market expectations. It will also allow SMRT to be better supported as it retools and reinforces its core skillsets in engineering and maintenance,” said SMRT chairman Koh Yong Guan. “We are proposing to move SMRT to private ownership so we can more closely collaborate with the Company on system level transformation, including its transition to the new regulatory environment without the distraction of being a listed company. We will have greater flexibility to work with SMRT as a private entity to seek sustainable long term solutions as part of its transition,” said Temasek International president Chia Song Hwee. Merrill Lynch is acting as financial advisor to SMRT, and Credit Suisse is advising Temasek. Temasek Holdings isn’t a traditional company but a sovereign wealth fund — a government-owned holding company — with investments in the financial services, telecommunications, media, transportation, real estate, and energy sectors. Temasek Holdings controls some S$184 billion (US$136 billion) in investments, more than a third of which are in the financial services industry. The company has offices in China, India, Vietnam, Brazil, and Mexico. Temasek Holdings, which was founded in 1974, is set up as a corporation whose primary shareholder is Singapore’s Ministry of Finance.]]>
The Wall street Journal reported in May. Wu is a former president of Investec Asia, a subsidiary of Investec Bank (UK) in Asia, and previously served as managing director of China Everbright Capital. One the startup’s early backers is Sydney-based Blackbird Ventures, which, among others, is itself backed by Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, the Australian Financial Review said. Zoox is developing fully autonomous vehicles and the supporting ecosystem required to bring the technology to market at scale. “We believe the transition to self-driving vehicles requires a combination of elegant vision and uncompromising execution,” the company says. Sitting at the intersection of robotics, machine learning, and design, Zoox aims to provide the next generation of mobility-as-a-service in urban environments. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup was co-founded in July 2014 by CEO Tim Kentley-Klay, an Australian entrepreneur who previously ran an animation studio, and CTO Jessee Levinson, previously a member of Stanford University’s autonomous driving team. In November 2013, Zoox made a big splash at the LA auto show when it unveiled its plans to develop a fully autonomous Level 4 vehicle. The imagery was spectacular and many of the concepts were revolutionary, according to Driverless Transportation analysts. Level 4 is the highest level of the NHTSA’s autonomous driving scale, and it reportedly serves as the basis for future Zoox self-driving vehicles.
“LEVEL 4 – Full Self-Driving Automation: The vehicle is designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip. Such a design anticipates that the driver will provide destination or navigation input, but is not expected to be available for control at any time during the trip. This includes both occupied and unoccupied vehicles.” –National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)[caption id="attachment_432698" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Zoox (“Boz”) 2013 early prototype interior design. Source: Gizmag.com[/caption] “We don’t see ourselves as an autonomous car company,” said Kentley-Klay at a private investor presentation in May. “We actually see ourselves as a robotics company, not an automotive company. And I think when you look at mobility through that lens, you start thinking differently.” In March 2016, Zoox became one of about a dozen companies to be awarded a permit to test a self-driving vehicle on the roads of California. Zoox reportedly has more than 140 people working on its secret project, many with PhDs, who are currently focused on developing the artificial intelligence needed to power autonomous vehicles. Zoox is facing massive competition from Google, Apple, Tesla, Ford, Uber and many other industry giants. In March, General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) announced the acquisition of San Francisco-based autonomous vehicle technology startup Cruise Automation, reportedly for over $1 billion. In addition, BMW (ETR: BMW) just announced it is developing fully autonomous ride-sharing vehicles to be launched in 5 years, relying on technology from Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) and Israeli pioneer Mobileye N.V. (NYSE: MBLY), a global leader in autonomous driving technologies. Mobileye in turn has previously announced multiple partnerships with VW, GM, Nissan and others. Photo: Zoox (“Boz”) Early Prototype Design. (Gizmag)]]>