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Ride Hailing Platform Go-Jek Eyes India Expansion, Acquires AI Startup AirCTO

Ride Hailing Platform Go-Jek Eyes India Expansion, Acquires AI Startup AirCTO

AirCTO is a human and AI-powered tech recruitment platform

AirCTO team will now join Go-Jek with immediate effect as a part of this deal

Go-Jek has also launched its second office in Gurugram to expand in India

In a bid to strengthen its presence in India, the Indonesian ride-hailing company Go-Jek has acquired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence startup AirCTO. The financial terms of the deal are yet to be disclosed.

According to the company, the AirCTO team will now join Go-Jek with immediate effect as a part of this deal. The acquisition aligns with Go-Jek’s focus on hiring premium talent to support the development of its ‘Super App’ which can be used for availing various services such as ordering food, commuting, digital payments, shopping, and hyper-local delivery through one app.

“Over the past three years, we’ve helped a range of startups and corporates source qualified candidates for critical technology roles. We were in talks with a number of other tech giants, but we found Go-Jek to be the best fit, as we share similar DNA – something that’s really important for us. We intend to use our prowess in recruitment to contribute to the hyper-growth Go-Jek is currently experiencing across Southeast Asia,” said Atif Haider, founder of AirCTO.

AirCTo was founded in 2016 by Atif Haider. It is a platform for tech recruitment which uses both human inputs and artificial intelligence to identify IT talents to match the job requirements at a lower cost and in an efficient way.

In 2017, it was reported that the startup had raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding from former Nokia director Francesco Cara.

This acquisition comes along with Go-Jek’s plan to strengthen its offering in India. The ride-hailing platform has launched its second engineering and product development centre in Gurugram.  plans to hire 100 employees aiming to reach a total headcount of 500 in India by the end of this year. As part of its expansion plans, it is also considering further acquisitions in India. It is focused on companies with complementary expertise in engineering, design and product management.

The new 18,000+ sq.ft office which is located at DLF CyberHub, Gurrgram, is equipped to seat around more than 150 employees. The ride-sharing company also has an office in Bengaluru which was set up in 2016 with an initial group of 100 engineers. During that time, it also made a series of acquisition including mobile application platforms Leftshift and Pianta, software engineering company C42 Engineering, and development and operations company CodeIgnition.

“Our investment in Gurugram underlines our commitment to growing the Go-Jek India story. We have looked at multiple ways to expand our operations and concluded that Gurugram is a logical destination to set up shop. With operations underway in Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, we will now consider whether further acquisitions are needed as we seek to bring in entrepreneurial teams who can help us further develop the multi-service business model that makes Go-Jek a leader in Southeast Asia,” said Sidu Ponnappa, MD India at Go-Jek.

Launched in 2011 by Nadiem Makarim, Go-Jek began services as a bike-taxi service and has since expanded its verticals into food, courier and grocery delivery services in Southeast Asia. It competes with global cab aggregator Uber, and its local challenger Grab in Indonesia.

This development comes in soon after it was reported that Go-Jek, is in advanced talks to close two investment deals with Mumbai-based cloud kitchen player Rebel Foods which runs Faasos and Bengaluru-based esports startup Mobile Premier League.

Earlier in February, Go-Jek had announced the first close of its Series F funding round led by Alphabet’s Google, and Tencent Holdings. While the company is yet to reveal the financial details, media reports say that it has raised $1 Bn as part of the round with the company looking to close the round at $2 Bn.