A Go-Jek passenger wears a helmet with the startup’s logo as he rides pillion. Source: Shutterstock/findracadabra

Indonesia’s Go-Jek looks set to rival Grab in Southeast Asia

EVER since Uber sold the majority stakes of its Southeast Asian operations to Grab, the Singapore-based company has been dominating the ride-hailing industry in the region. But now, new plans by Indonesia’s popular Go-Jek threatens this monopoly.

This is because Go-Jek on Thursday announced it would invest US$500 million in its international push. According to Reuters, its first aim is to push ride-hailing services in key Southeast Asian countries, before expanding to other sectors.

“People in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines don’t feel that they’re getting enough (choice) when it comes to ride-hailing,” CEO Nadiem Makarim was quoted as saying.

The company said it will provide “technological support and expertise” to local founding teams in each of the four markets, CNBC reported.

Those local companies would work to gain traction and “determine their own brands and identities”.

“We visited all those countries and we felt like the solutions that we provided in Indonesia will probably be suitable to some of these countries,” Andre Soelistyo, president of Go-Jek said.

A man walks past a Grab office in Singapore March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su


Go-Jek started off as a motorbike ride-hailing company and then moved into things like food delivery, groceries and payments.

According to CNBC, Go-Jek bought three financial technology, or fintech, companies last year to boost its presence in Indonesia’s digital payments sector.

Backed by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and Chinese tech giant Tencent, the company’s services are used in 50 cities across Indonesia.

Ever since Grab’s acquisition of Uber, there has been an absence of major competitors in the region. But now Go-Jek is preparing to put their stamp on the market and has begun working with regulators and other stakeholders across the region to prepare for the new operations.

The expansion follows Go-Jek’s latest round of fundraising, which brought investment from companies including Astra International, JD.COM, Tencent and Temasek.