Go-Jek and Grab have been raising a large amount of capital for investing aggressively to lead the Southeast Asian market.
Indonesia’s Go-Jek has launched a beta version of its ride-hailing taxi app in parts of Singapore, as it eyes to take on its rival Grab on the latter’s home turf, Reuters reported on Thursday. The company, which is valued at around $5 billion, is planning for a full launch in early 2019.
Go-Jek has partnered with Singapore-headquartered DBS Group Holdings to initially launch its services in parts of Singapore. Go-Jek investors include Tencent Holdings, Google and Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings.
The Southeast Asian ride-hailing giants Go-Jek and Grab have been raising a large amount of capital for investing aggressively to lead the Southeast Asian market as the region’s 640 million consumers increasingly go online and use smartphones to shop, travel and make payments.
The battle for region’s supremacy in the ride-hailing market narrowed down to two players, after Grab acquired loss-making Southeast Asia operations of Uber, one of the most valuable startups in the world, in March this year.
“As this is a new product, we will obviously give promotions, but at the end of the day, it shouldn’t only be pricing that differentiates our services,” Go-Jek’s president, Andre Soelistyo, told reporters.
Go-Jek reportedly has been in talks to raise at least $2 billion for its international expansion. “There is an element of a land grab, not just in geography but also in different verticals, whether it’s delivery or payments, as everyone’s trying to put his stick in the ground,” Bloomberg earlier quoted Kuo-Yi Lim, managing partner at Monk’s Hill Ventures in Singapore, which is not an investor in either company.
In India, Go-Jek set up its engineering facility in Bengaluru in 2016 and has made acquisitions so far including mobile application development company Leftshift, home healthcare startup Pianta, software engineering firm C42 Engineering, and infrastructure automation company CodeIgnition.