Southeast Asian unicorn Go-Jek has acquired Bengaluru-based AI startup AirCTO and opened its second engineering and product development centre in Gurugram. The acquisition aligns with Go-Jek's focus on hiring premium talent.Sindhu Kashyap
Indonesia-based startup Go-Jek announced that it had acquired AirCTO, a Bengaluru-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) recruitment platform. After the acquisition, the AirCTO team will join Go-Jek with immediate effect.
While details of the deal were undisclosed, the Go-Jek team announced that the AirCTO team would be looking into building products that accelerate the recruitment of talent for Go-Jek. The Go-Jek statement also said the acquisition "aligns with Go-Jek's focus on hiring premium talent to support the development of its Super App".
Atif Haider, Founder, AirCTO, said, in a press statement: “At AirCTO, we’ve focused on the pain points technology firms experience as they seek to find talent that fits their requirements. We believe that recruiting as an industry needs a major upheaval, and we started AirCTO with this in mind. 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.”
Go-Jek also announced that it had also opened an office in Gurugram and aimed to hire over 100 people and expand operations. The team stated that it was looking to acquire more companies to add to the existing talent pool. The Indonesian-headquartered company is actively interested in companies with complementary expertise in engineering, design and product management.
Speaking to YourStory, Sidu Ponnappa, MD India at Go-Jek, said, "AirCTO has a great team, incredible talent, and an Artificial Intelligence-based recruitment solution that automates the discovery of top engineering talent. The team will focus on innovation in our recruitment processes - primarily to develop and implement tech solutions that will streamline the whole recruiting process."
Sidu added, "As always, we’re looking for talented people who want to build things, break archaic processes. The most important criteria we look for is good engineering talent who can deliver in terms of product and execution. Our goal is to make Go-Jek the ideal destination for anyone who is focused on product and an aspirational job. In this endeavour, we’re also looking at acquiring large teams with solid execution rigour. Over the next few months, we will be actively scouting acquisitions to fill our needs."
The new 18,000+ sq ft office is located at DLF CyberHub in Gurugram, and is equipped to seat around 150+ employees.
Sidu explained their investment in Gurugram underlines their commitment to growing the Go-Jek India story. He said they had looked at multiple ways to expand operations and concluded that Gurugram was the logical destination to set up shop, not least because of the amazing talent found in the area.
"Go-Jek recorded an annualised Gross Transaction Value (GTV) of US$9 billion as of 2018, and the hyper-growth journey we’ve been on demands talent willing to take risks, fail, learn, and continue to scale a company that aims to solve everyday problems for Southeast Asia. With operations under way 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,” Sidu said .
The team is looking to set up product divisions of Go-Food, Go-Jek's largest India-based product team, at the Gurugram office. The foodtech app is in Southeast Asia with over 400,000 merchants - 85 percent of these are small micro-entrepreneurs that rely heavily on Go-Food for revenue.
At the beginning of the year, Go-Jek announced the first closing of its ongoing Series F funding round led by Google, JD.com, and Tencent, along with Mitsubishi Corporation and Provident Capital.