Ride-hailing giant Grab is reportedly in talks to merge with Indonesian digital payments firm OVO and Ant Financial-backed fintech firm DANA to “build heft and power ahead of archrival Gojek”.
According to sources close to the matter, the deal would see Grab buying a majority interest in DANA from Indonesian media conglomerate Elang Mahkota Teknologi (Emtek) and merging it with OVO.
The deal also could help OVO and DANA, which have been vying for the top spot in Indonesia’s multi-billion dollar online payments market, in finally overtaking Gojek.
“It’s part of the Grab-Gojek battle,” said one of the sources.
According to another source, Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son is “in favour” of the proposal, which was discussed during a meeting between him, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Grab CEO Anthony Tan, and Grab Indonesia President Ridzki Kramadibrata in Jakarta in July.
Then, Grab also announced that it will invest US$2 billion into Indonesia over the next five years to “create a next-generation transportation network to transform how critical services are delivered”. This will be done using capital received from Softbank.
Added Tan: “Indonesia is our largest market, and we are committed to long-term sustainable development of the country.”
It’s not clear how much the deal will be worth.
Grab, OVO, and DANA have declined to comment on the matter, while Emtek, Ant Financial, and SoftBank did not immediately respond to requests for comment.