In Silicon Valley, the term “PayPal Mafia” was popularized by Fortune magazine in 2007. It refers to the payments company’s alumni who have gone on to start, lead, or back other tech companies. The pack consists of prominent names including Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, and Reid Hoffman.
As the Indonesian startup ecosystem matures, it appears that the country has produced its own tech mafia, featuring some of the former top execs at the country’s biggest startup, Gojek.
Nadiem Makarim, who founded the ride-hailing giant, was appointed last year to become the education minister of Indonesia. Meanwhile, other former Gojek executives have either built their own companies or assumed executive roles at other local startups.
The increasing digital economic opportunities in Indonesia, the biggest digital market in Southeast Asia, is whetting the appetite of the Gojek mafia. The country’s internet-based economy’s gross merchandise value (GMV) is expected to reach US$133 billion in 2025 from US$40 billion last year, according to estimates by Google, Temasek, and Bain. Goldman Sachs forecasts an even brighter future: US$228 billion GMV by 2025.
Here are the 10 members of the Gojek mafia. Four of them came from GoLife, Gojek’s lifestyle app which discontinued most services last year due to stagnant growth.
Rohan Monga joined Gojek in 2015 as the startup’s chief operating officer. He previously worked as senior program manager at Amazon Japan for two years.
Later, Monga was appointed as head of international to oversee Gojek’s overseas expansion. He left Gojek in August 2018, shortly before the company launched its services in Vietnam and Thailand.
In May 2019, he invested in edtech startup Zenius and then jumped in to become the company’s CEO three months later. Under his leadership, Zenius raised US$20 million in a series A funding round from Northstar Group and other investors.
Dayu Dara Permata
Dayu Dara Permata was the former head of GoLife, Gojek’s lifestyle app. She joined the company in its early days in 2015 after working at McKinsey & Company for four years. She left the Indonesian super app in November 2019, following Gojek’s decision to discontinue several services on the GoLife platform.
Today, Dara is building a property crowdfunding startup called Pinhome, which will focus on the post-discovery journey of property buying.
“After five years of leading several verticals in Gojek (GoMart, GoShop, GoLife) as an intrapreneur – an entrepreneur working inside a company – I was ready to be a real entrepreneur,” Dara says. “I left Gojek to continue my mission to create impact in another sector: property and real estate.”
Ahmed Aljunied, who was previously the vice president of engineering and product at GoLife, has also joined Dara’s new company as chief technology officer.
Mahatma Waskitadi joined Gojek in 2015 to help build the company’s logistics services, GoSend and GoBox. In October 2019, he left Gojek and became the chief product officer of Vokraf, an edtech startup that offers on-demand learning services for professionals in the creative industry.
Wisnu Nugrahadi was a manager for GoLife. Since joining the Gojek team in 2015, he rose from the ranks and became senior manager of operations for the startup’s ride-hailing service. Nugrahadi left the company in June 2018.
Today, he’s running on-demand workforce startup Sampingan, which he developed through Antler, a startup generator and venture capital firm. In 2019, Sampingan got US$1.5 million in a pre-series A funding round led by Golden Gate Ventures.
Piotr Jakubowski is a marketing professional who started his career at advertising agencies. He joined Gojek in 2016 as chief marketing officer, a position he held for over two years.
After leaving the company in 2018, he founded marketing firm We Are Not Machines, which offers communication strategy consultation services for companies across Southeast Asia.
Yaumi Fauziah Sugiarta
Yaumi Fauziah Sugiarta joined Gojek in 2015 and spent most of her time at the company as growth strategist for GoLife.
After leaving Gojek in February 2018, Fauziah spent several months as marketing lead for fashion rental startup Style Theory. She later founded Base, a beauty startup that offers personalized skincare products based on online consultation. In 2019, Base raised seed funding from East Ventures and Skystar Capital.
Windy Natriavi, together with Dara, helped build the GoLife service from scratch. She was vice president of growth when she left Gojek in September 2017.
Right after her resignation, Natriavi founded a peer-to-peer lending company called AwanTunai. Her fintech startup secured US$4.3 million in series A funding in November 2018.
Since joining Gojek in 2015, Jesayas Ferdinandus has led GoFood to become the top food ordering service in Indonesia. He left the company in March 2017 and establish a fintech startup called Oy, which offers free interbank transfers via a mobile app.
Alamanda Shantika Santoso
Alamanda Shantika Santoso was a former vice president of technology and product at Gojek. She was among the first batch of executives Makarim recruited to build the startup’s engineering team in 2015. She left the company in September 2016.
Today, Shantika is the founder of Binar Academy, an education startup that trains new developers in Indonesia.
Michaelangelo Moran, one of Gojek’s co-founders, created the first logo for the company. He quit Gojek in 2016 to build a recording studio and music school in Bali. Moran also invested in several startups, including BeliMobilGue, an online automotive marketplace.
This story was originally written by Rizqi Maulana for Tech in Asia Indonesia. Translation and additional reporting by Aditya Hadi.
Check out our series on startup mafias here.