Data Startups

Rumors Of Go-Jek’s IPO Underscores The Incredible, Global Bet On Ridesharing Profits

To use a technical term, the total addressable market for ride hailing and on-demand delivery services is ginormous.

At least in theory, so too would be the payoff to the companies, and their capital backers, that take over the industry. That’s part of the reason why these closely-related sectors are compelling to investors, but it’s not like there have been many notable exits onto public markets for the sector, at least not yet. But that’s likely to change in the near future.

Earlier today, news broke that Indonesian ride hailing and on-demand delivery company Go-Jek is contemplating an initial public offering, likely on an Indonesian exchange. Crunchbase News was on top of the story. Go-Jek, to date, has raised around $1.75 billion in known venture funding over the course of three recorded funding rounds.

$1.75 billion is a heck of a lot of money for a single startup to raise, but not so much in Go-Jek’s sector. At best, Go-Jek lands squarely at the bottom of the second tier of ride hailing and on-demand delivery startups—at least as far as pre-IPO funding is concerned.

The chart below shows the top-ranking companies in these sectors, with the amount of total funding each company has raised delineated by type.

Funding into the ride-sharing and delivery sector is particularly skewed, with an overwhelming majority of the capital being shipped to just two big players: Uber and China-headquartered Didi Chuxing. And although Didi is based in China, its influence—by way of direct corporate venture investment and strategic M&A—spreads far and wide. As Crunchbase News showed in August 2017, Didi’s investment network spans the globe. Its corporate portfolio companies include Uber’s principal U.S. competitor, Lyft, as well as many of the companies in the chart above such as Ola, Careem, Cabify, and Via.

Didi’s corporate relationships also extends to its main global competitor. Uber China was originally a subsidiary of the American ride hailing supergiant. Uber China received $2 billion in venture funding from Baidu, HNA Group, CITIC Securities, and other investors in two recorded rounds, the last of which was closed in January 2016. Uber China was later acquired by Didi Chuxing in August 2016 for $7 billion in stock.

Go-Jek’s IPO would be something of a milestone for the increasingly consolidated on-demand delivery and ride hailing sector. As an early exit onto public markets, the company more transparent source of revenue multiples and other metrics for sizing up its global competition. By those benchmarks, we hope to get a better idea of how much tens of billions of dollars in investment into the sector will yield in returns.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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