Indonesian bike-hailing app Go-Jek buys LeftShift Technologies

Go-Jek seeks to strengthen its product development efforts through acuisition, says it will continue to expand its team in India for roles in data science, mobile and security


Go-Jek offers stock options to the employees of its acquired companies that vest over four years.
Go-Jek offers stock options to the employees of its acquired companies that vest over four years.

Bengaluru: Indonesian bike hailing app Go-Jek has acquired Pune-based app development company LeftShift Technologies Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed amount to strengthen its product development efforts, marking its fourth acquisition of an Indian firm.

LeftShift was started in 2007 by Sudhanshu Raheja and Abhinit Tiwari and hasn’t raised any venture funding.

It helped more than 200 companies design and develop mobile apps, including companies such as BookMyShow, Practo, OYO, Byju’s Classes, Airtel and Emerson. It also counted Go-Jek as one of its customers.

LeftShift’s 42 employees will relocate to Bengaluru and be a part of Go-Jek Engineering India.

The product development centre, which has about 60 employees now, comprises developers, data scientists, designers and product managers who work on mining data and delivering better experiences for consumers.

“LeftShift is arguably among the best mobile app developers in the country. We look forward to their immensely capable team becoming a part of the Go-Jek family,” said Sidu Ponnappa, managing director, Go-Jek Engineering India.

Go-Jek had earlier acquired Bengaluru-based home healthcare start-up Pianta in August.

In February, the firm announced that it bought Bengaluru-based software engineering company C42 Engineering India Pvt. Ltd and Delhi-based development and operations company CodeIgnition Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd for engineering talent.

These deals are so-called acqui-hires, which is jargon for an acquisition made to gain access to the employees of the acquired company.

Also Read: Go-Jek acquires health-care startup Pianta to bolster its engineering team

Go-Jek offers stock options to the employees of its acquired companies that vest over four years.

Go-Jek was started by Harvard graduate Nadiem Makarim in 2011 and is the first Indonesian start-up to achieve the “unicorn” status after a $550 million funding round in August led by KKR and Warburg Pincus.

It also counts Sequoia Capital India, Yuri Milner’s DST Global, Rakuten and Capital Group among its investors.

The company set up its India engineering office after buying C42 and CodeIgnition, both of which worked with Go-Jek, helping it re-architect and rewrite back-end systems and infrastructure, before they got acquired.

The Indonesia-based start-up now employs some 100 engineering and product professionals in India.

Go-Jek said that it will continue to expand its team in India for roles in data science, mobile and security to help with maintaining technology as it scales up rapidly. Go-Jek claims its mobile app, which was launched in January 2015, has been downloaded 25 million times so far.

“We are looking at more acqui-hires in India. The priority for us in looking for an acquisition is a hacker mind-set and the tech chops to back it up. We look for proof that you have built tech systems whether at a corporate or open source. We also look at whether what they built earlier is aligned to our business,” Ponnappa said. The firm, which is valued at $1.3 billion, started off by bringing technology to local bike-taxis (‘Ojeks’ in Indonesian). Since then, it has expanded to doing food delivery, logistics and even payments via GO-PAY, a virtual wallet which can be used to pay for services.

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