Grab and Indonesian conglomerate Emtek have formed a strategic partnership, the companies said on Monday. The two firms aim to speed up digital transformation for micro, small, and medium enterprises in Indonesia (MSMEs), as well as make digital and financial inclusion possible for all Indonesians.
Grab and Emtek will run Festival Kota Mapan, an accelerator program for MSMEs, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. The program will train small business owners to adopt tech solutions provided by Grab and Emtek’s business network, including Bukalapak, GrabFood, GrabKios, and GrabMart.
“MSMEs contribute about 60% of the country’s gross domestic product, but only 21% of them have adopted digital services,” said Grab Indonesia managing director Neneng Goenadi in a press conference. “Festival Kota Mapan will begin in the Central Java city of Solo in September, targeting 1,000 MSMEs. We’ll continue to bring this festival to other cities to reach more businesses.”
Grab and Emtek have been deepening business ties over the past several months. In April, a few days after Grab announced its SPAC merger with Altimeter Growth Corporation, the Singapore-based company reportedly spent IDR 4 trillion (USD 274 million) to buy a 4% stake in Emtek.
Then, in May, Emtek acquired a minority stake (2.59%) in Grab’s Indonesia unit. And on June 30, Emtek injected another dose of capital to the tune of IDR 3.09 trillion (USD 210 million), equivalent to 3.29% of Grab. With that investment, Emtek currently owns 5.88% of the Southeast Asian tech giant.
In a virtual press conference, Emtek managing director Sutanto Hartono said the conglomerate has invested USD 375 million in Grab Teknologi Indonesia. The two companies will explore more possibilities for collaborations in the future.
“Before this [festival], Grab had collaborated with Bukalapak in various initiatives, including deliveries, payments, and offering digital products for kiosk owners in 500 cities. We also work closely with Vidio—we recently offered a bundle package for GrabFood and a Vidio subscription. We’ll certainly deepen the partnership and introduce more collaborations with Bukalapak, Vidio, and other Emtek businesses soon,” said Goenadi.
Grab is gaining access into Emtek’s ecosystem, which spans broadcasting, OTT, digital media, and film production. The conglomerate also owns stakes in e-commerce unicorn Bukalapak and mobile payment platform Dana. Emtek owns 34.39% of Bukalapak, according to its Q1 2021 financial report.
The two-way investment between Grab and Emtek could be a response to the merger by Gojek and Tokopedia to form GoTo group, the largest digital ecosystem in Indonesia.
Dana has long been rumored to be planning a merger with Grab-backed e-wallet Ovo, although representatives of both companies declined to comment on this matter. Meanwhile, it is currently unclear how Grab and Bukalapak will work together going forward. Bukalapak is set to make its market debut on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, or IDX, next month, making it the country’s first unicorn to list shares on the domestic bourse.