Gojek Sells Coins.ph in the Philippines to ex-CFO Binance
Gojek officially sells its payments business in the Philippines Coins.ph. Quoting from The Ken, the transaction value is $200 million (about 2.8 trillion Rupiah). This figure is twice as large as the first time Gojek bought it in January 2019 for $95 million (around 1.3 trillion Rupiah).
The Ken source also stated that several regional investors familiar with Coins.ph or Gojek confirmed the deal. The buyer was Wei Zhou, former CFO of Binance. Zhou left the company abruptly in June 2021.
Coins was founded in 2014 and is led by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ron Hose. Coins is a payments startup that allows its users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and make digital payments.
Hose then left Coins in 2020 to join Wavemaker Partners as a Venture Partner. The website states that Coins has three business units, namely mobile payments, digital money, and payment systems for businesses.
In digital money units, Coins has Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum trading platforms. Coins also trades Bitcoin with Peso currency, even though the buyer and seller do not have bank accounts.
Then over time, the company developed its financial services by offering bill payments, remittances, to mobile top-ups. Now, the company has integrated with Ronin, Sky Mavis’ Ethereum sidechain built specifically for play-to-earn Axie Infinity.
In the Philippines, the popularity of the game Axie Infinity soared amid the pandemic. Sky Mavis reports that 29,000 of the 70,000 game downloads in April 2021 came from the Philippines.
The increase was triggered by the fluctuating unemployment rate during the pandemic. This NFT game is used as an alternative to earn income.
At the same time, crypto transactions are growing rapidly because the government has been so serious about grounding it since 2019. At that time, the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (PSE) questioned whether the country was ready to establish a complete crypto exchange.
On the other hand, the use of domestic digital payments is getting stronger. It is recorded that 10% of GDP comes from remittances made by 10 million Filipino expatriates working overseas.
In recent years, the Philippines has sought to establish itself as a regional crypto hub. In 2018, the country opened a Special Economic Zone located in Cagayan which was intended for a number of crypto companies.
After witnessing the rapid growth of digital asset users in the last three years, in January 2021 the Philippine central bank decided to issue new regulations for cryptocurrency service providers.
It is possible that this condition makes Gojek feel that it is not on the same path to deepening the penetration of digital payments in the MSME realm. Because in the Philippines, cryptocurrencies are more accepted because their effects are so pronounced.
In Indonesia, the growth of crypto transactions has not been as massive as compared to the Philippines. GoPay in Indonesia has become an alternative to top up balances on several crypto asset trading platforms, such as Pintu, Tokocrypto, Indodax, and so on.
Share Allocation For Driver-Partners
At the same time, GoTo allocated IDR 310 billion specifically for driver-partners in the GoTo ecosystem in the Mutual Cooperation Shares Program. The company provides free shares to all loyal and qualified driver-partners.
In an official statement, GoTo Group CEO Andre Soelistyo said, from the start he hoped to bring partners to share the benefits when GoTo conducted an IPO.
“Therefore, through this Mutual Cooperation Share Program, GoTo would like to give appreciation to driver-partners who have worked together to build the GoTo ecosystem from the start and have been loyal with us in the ups and downs of the company’s journey,” said Andre, Monday (4/4).
The beneficiaries of this program cover various criteria for driver-partners, ranging from GoRide, GoCar, GoSend, GoFood, and GoBox.
Meanwhile, the driver-partner criteria are determined based on several factors, including the duration of the partnership and the active status of the driving partner. Almost all active driver-partners in Indonesia have the opportunity to join this program.