AirAsia Group has announced that the company is acquiring Gojek’s operation in Thailand through AirAsia Digital. In exchange, the Indonesian e-hailing and fintech giant would receive USD 50 million (~RM 208 million) from the airline.
In addition to that, Gojek will also be provided with a 4.76% stake in the AirAsia Super App which apparently has a market value of around USD 1 billion. Gojek’s CEO Kevin Aluwi has noted in the joint announcement that this deal will allow the company to put more focus on Singapore and Vietnam which have been deemed as its main international markets.
In general, this acquisition provides AirAsia Digital with an established platform to immediately expand its operation to Thailand instead of starting from scratch. That being said, the company noted that the Gojek app in Thailand will continue to operate as usual until 31 July as it will invite drivers and merchants to transition to AirAsia Super App in the coming weeks.
Once the acquisition is completed, AirAsia Digital plans to expand AirAsia Super App’s coverage to Chiang Mai and Phuket in the near future. Thai consumers can also expect new offerings such as groceries and beauty items.
Despite facing massive losses due to the effect of the pandemic on air travel, AirAsia Group continues to put a lot of resources to strengthen its non-airline businesses. Aside from the Gojek Thailand acquisition, the company’s fintech arm, BigPay has also recently applied for Bank Negara’s digital banking licence.
It is still too early to know whether the massive bet will pay off for AirAsia but as air travel continues to be restricted, there is indeed nothing much an airline can do apart from looking outside of its hanger and seek other opportunities to survive the pandemic.