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Ticket delivery via Go-Jek
Ticket delivery via Go-Jek

JAKARTA — A deal between Indonesia's leading lender and an Uber-like moto-taxi application is the latest in a string of partnerhips that are making Indonesia a veritable hotspot for startup ventures in Asia.

The initiative, between Bank Mandiri and the Jakarta-based company Go-Jek, will allow customers to store credit on the app by handling payments through the motorcycle drivers, the English-language daily Jakarta Post reports. Mandiri will also expand access to financial services for drivers and customers.

Local technology firms like Go-Jek have achieved rapid success and contributed to a competitive local market, with international rivals like Uber and Malaysia-based Grab Taxi unable to dominate. They are increasingly gaining government support and private investment. Mandiri's venture capital unit, for one, has committed to spending $37.5 million on developing financial technology services.

Other national banks such as CIMB Niaga are also planning to work with Go-Jek and expand involvement in local startups, according to the Jakarta-based newspaper Kompas. While Go-Jek competes with larger firms like Uber, Grab, and Blue Bird (the leading Indonesian taxi company), smaller competitors are also shaking up the ride-hailing industry.

TeknoJek is a motorcycle taxi ride-hailing app similar to Go-Jek. The Jakarta Post writes that its success comes in part from employing innovative tools such as multi-level marketing, with the company providing additional income to drivers who refer customers and other drivers to the company.

Other Indonesian startups such as Tokopedia, an online marketplace, and Traveloka, a travel booking site, are gaining popularity as well and contributing to the country's increasing reputation as a startup hub.


Go-Jek received $500 million in funding this week from investors, and with Indonesian banks also ramping up investment in local tech firms, other startups will look to benefit and expand. If their success continues, Jakarta may well be on its way to becoming the Silicon Valley of Southeast Asia.

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Geopolitics

Patronage Or Politics? What's Driving Qatar And Egypt Grand Rapprochement

For Cairo, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil,” with anger directed at Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, and others critical of Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood ouster. But the vitriol is now gone, with the first ever visit by Egyptian President al-Sisi to Doha.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with the Emir of Qatar in June 2022 in Cairo

Beesan Kassab, Daniel O'Connell, Ehsan Salah, Hazem Tharwat and Najih Dawoud

For the first time since coming to power in 2014, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi traveled to Doha last month on an official visit, a capstone in a steadily building rapprochement between the two countries in the last year.

Not long ago, however, the photo-op capturing the two heads of state smiling at one another in Doha would have seemed impossible. In the wake of the Armed Forces’ ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, Qatar and Egypt traded barbs.

In the lexicon of the intelligence-controlled Egyptian press landscape, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil” working to undermine Egypt’s stability. Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, was banned from Egypt, but, from its social media accounts and television broadcast, it regularly published salacious and insulting details about the Egyptian administration.

But all of that vitriol is now gone.

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