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Digital Payments Platform Gojek Axes 9 Percent of Its Workforce After Facebook, Paypal Funding

Ride-hailing and digital payments platform Gojek that received funding from Facebook and Paypal earlier this month has laid off 430 employees, around 9 per cent of its total workforce. The company announced to shut down its lifestyle division GoLife as well as its food court division GoFood Festival, reports The Jakarta Post. Gojek currently operates in five countries in Southeast Asia, said it would focus on its core businesses which are ride-hailing service, food delivery and e-payment solutions.

"The biggest challenge is the remaining uncertainties in the future, and the hurtful fact is that this will forever change the way we operate our business and the products we offer," said CEOs Andre Soelistyo and Kevin Aluwi said in a joint statement late Tuesday. In April, the company's senior management cut their salaries to allocate more than $7.09 million to help drivers and employees cope with poor demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With an aim to cement their position in the fast-growing digital payments market in Southeast Asia, Facebook and Paypal have invested in Gojek. Matt Idema, Chief Operating Officer, WhatsApp, did not disclose the sum the company has invested in Gojek but said the move underscores Facebook's commitment to serving small businesses and helping bring them and their customers into the digital economy.

Since its launch in 2015, the Gojek app has helped bring hundreds of thousands of merchants onto its platform, giving them access to more than 170 million people across Southeast Asia. Its payments business processes billions of transactions each year and owns the largest e-wallet in Indonesia.