Goldman Sachs backs Japan’s biggest taxi app with $1 billion valuation

Hiroshi Nakajima, president of Go Inc. The Japanese ride-hailing firm raised money from Goldman Sachs which values it at $1 billion.

Shoko Takayasu | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Goldman Sachs invested in Go Inc., Japan’s biggest ride-hailing app in a funding round which values the start-up at $1 billion, the company announced on Wednesday.

The U.S. investment bank invested 10 billion Japanese yen ($72.1 million) into Go.

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Goldman’s investment comes as technology startups still face a difficult environment in which to raise funding, as macroeconomic headwinds prevail and the fallout from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank this year — a key pillar of the industry — continues to ripple across the world.

“We believe this round of fundraising is highly significant, indicating that we have gained high social credibility,” Hiroshi Nakajima, President of Go Inc., said in a press release.

The company said it plans to use the funds to improve its app and “to develop next-generation businesses stemming from the mobility industry for the resolution of various societal issues.”

Go Inc. operates an Uber-style of ride-hailing service in Japan, but is trying to focus the company on other areas of mobility. For example, it has a business where it sells a camera and software to monitor drivers and ensure they are not driving dangerously.

The company said this year that it is shutting down its food delivery business, as people return to restaurants following the pandemic.

Goldman Sachs has built up its private investments in tech firms. One of its most notable investments was is ride-hailing firm Uber, although the bank has now dumped its entire stake in the company.

But Goldman Sachs remains bullish on ride-hailing.

“Mobility is an integral part of our everyday life, and Go Inc. is well-positioned to lead digitalization and innovation of Japan’s taxi market,” Stephanie Hui, global co-head of growth equity at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said in a press release.

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