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Grab and Gojek reportedly in merger talks

The two companies share Mitsubishi and Visa as investors.

Grab and Gojek are two high-flying decacorns in the region locked in a super-app race. Illustration by KrASIA.

Southeast Asia’s two aspirational super app developers, Grab and Gojek, are reportedly discussing a merger. If finalized, the merger would create one of the world’s most highly valued startups, with Grab currently holding a USD 14 billion valuation and Gojek at USD 9 billion.

The Information reported that the two companies’ management teams have met occasionally over the past two years to deliberate over the potential merger. Earlier this month, Grab President Ming Maa and Gojek CEO Andre Soelistyo held a meeting for the latest round of talks. However, a deal is still only a distant possibility.

The report indicated that the snag was in determining the size of each side’s stake. Grab had told its major investors that Gojek wants a 50–50 deal, while the company itself wanted a significant majority. Other considerations include the companies’ valuations, as well as regulatory clearance for conjoining their businesses.

Some of Grab and Gojek’s investors are open to a potential merger, according to DealStreetAsia. At the moment, the two decacorns have split the investor ecosystem in Southeast Asia, although Mitsubishi and Visa have invested in both companies.

A spokesperson for Gojek told DealStreetAsia that rumors about a merger are false, while Grab has not made any public statements on the matter yet.

Mergers between two companies that compete in the same market is not uncommon, especially if they share the same investors. Uber, for example, had reportedly held merger discussions with their local competition in India, Ola.