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Indonesia's Go-Jek acquires Indian AI recruitment start-up AirCTO

Peerzada Abrar/Bengaluru 12 Jun 19 | 11:00 AM

Indonesian ride-hailing company Go-Jek has acquired AirCTO, a Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence recruitment platform.

As part of the deal, the AirCTO team will be joining Go-Jek with immediate effect and will be looking into building products that accelerate the recruitment of talent for Go-Jek. The acquisition aligns with Go-Jek’s focus on hiring premium talent to support the development of its ‘Super App’. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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“The (AirCTO) team will use technology to help us scale up our hiring processes. Finding quality talent is always a challenge," said Sidu Ponnappa, managing director India at Go-Jek.

AirCTO focuses on the pain points technology firms experience as they seek to find talent that fits their requirements. Over the past three years, it has helped a range of start-ups 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," said Atif Haider, founder of AirCTO. “We intend to use our prowess in recruitment to contribute to the hyper-growth Go-Jek is currently experiencing across Southeast Asia," added Haider.

Google and Tencent-backed Go-Jek, whose value was calculated at $10 billion by US research firm CB Insights, placing it in the ranks of start-ups called decacorns, has also opened its second engineering and product development centre in Gurugram. For this, Go-Jek plans to hire 100 employees aiming to reach a total headcount of 500 in India by the year-end. As part of its expansion plans, the company is also considering further acquisitions in India.

Go-Jek, which mainly competes with ride-hailing firm Grab, is presently betting big to capture the Southeast Asia market. India is its largest region for the talent pool, as out of the total 300 engineers, over 200 people are based in Bengaluru. In 2016, Go-Jek had bought Bengaluru-based C42 Engineering and Delhi-based CodeIgnition Software Solutions mainly to hire talent. The company has recorded an annualised gross transaction value (GTV) of $9 billion as of 2018.

“The hyper-growth journey we’ve been on demands talent who are willing to take risks, fail, learn and continue to scale a company that aims to solve everyday problems for Southeast Asia," said Ponnappa of Go-Jek. “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," added Ponnappa.

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