Grab in talks to merge Indonesian payment firms to overtake Gojek: sources

SoftBank-backed ride hailer Grab is in talks to merge OVO, an Indonesian digital payment firm in which it owns shares, with an Ant Financial-backed local peer to build heft and power ahead of archrival Gojek, people familiar with the matter said.

A deal would see Singapore-based Grab buy a majority interest in Ant-backed DANA from Indonesian media conglomerate Elang Mahkota Teknologi (Emtek) and merge it with OVO, they said.

It could help OVO-DANA dominate Gojek in Indonesia’s multi-billion dollar online payments market. OVO and Gojek have been vying for the top spot in payments since 2018, with DANA not far behind.

Grab and Gojek are the top-two startup brands in South-East Asia, valued at US$14 billion (S$19.3 billion) and US$10 billion, respectively, according to sources. They compete in a host of areas including financial services, e-commerce, ride-hailing and food delivery.

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