AirAsia A partnership was revealed today through which its digital arm, airasia Digital will acquire Gojek’s operations in Thailand for $ 50 million.
These operations include transportation, food delivery, and payments. The acquisition is expected to fuel the expansion of the AirAsia super app, while Gojek will be able to increase investments in its operations in Vietnam and Singapore.
According to Reuters, the deal also gives Gojek a 4.76% stake in the AirAsia super app, which offers deals like flights, hotels, airasia farm, airasia food, fresh airasia and more. The app has a market value of around $ 1 billion.
In Thailand, the AirAsia super app will leverage existing ecosystem services for passengers, merchants, and customers, while adding new offerings such as groceries and beauty items.
The airline will work with the Gojek team in Thailand, which will operate the Gojek business during the transition period before moving to the AirAsia super app. They will contribute local market experience and a better understanding of the needs of Thai users for the business.
The beginning of something long term
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said in a statement that this announcement is the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership with Gojek.
“We already have a complete digital economy ecosystem,” he said, adding, “We have successfully established more than 15 different non-airline lifestyle products and services on our digital e-commerce platform in Malaysia.”
“In response to overwhelming regional demand, we are aiming to bring our super app offerings to all of our key markets, following a successful deployment in Thailand.”
For the near future, AirAsia shared that regional expansion into new markets like Chiang Mai and Phuket is in the works.
Thailand has a competitive super app market
Thai users are not short of options to use a super app from a mix of local and foreign companies; some names you would find there include Grab, Get, TrueID, and Gojek, prior to this acquisition.
According to Nikkei Asia, food delivery research by Singapore consultancy Momentum Works found that Gojek’s service had a much smaller share of the Thailand and Vietnam markets compared to Grab and Sea in 2020.
Gojek’s GoFood had a 7% share of the market, compared to GrabFood’s 50% share of Thailand’s US $ 2.8 billion food delivery market (in GMV terms).
While relatively new to the general food delivery market, AirAsia seems confident in taking on new markets with this offering, along with its other services. In March 2021, airasia food was launched in Singapore after its debut in Malaysia in 2020 (which we review here).
Not much information can be found on their user acquisition success rate in Malaysia so far, but The star reported that airasia food employed more than 1,500 passengers and served 1,200 restaurants around the Klang Valley in February 2021.
Going back to AirAsia’s acquisition of Gojek in Thailand, will this be enough to make AirAsia a leading challenger in Asean’s super apps race?
What you can be sure of, however, is that AirAsia has set its sights on expanding and strengthening its digital offerings, with reports in April 2021 of its plans to raise US $ 300 million to grow airasia Digital. Last week, he also submitted an offer for a digital banking license in Malaysia.
- You can get more information about the AirAsia super app here.
- You can read more content related to AirAsia here.
Featured Image Credit: AirAsia / Gojek