Go-Jek confirms expansion to Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore

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Go-Jek founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim

Indonesia’s homegrown ride-hailing app Go-Jek on May 24 confirmed earlier reports that it will launch its services in four other Southeast Asian countries as part of its regional expansion strategy.

Go-Jek, which is funded by investors with deep pockets such as China’s Tencent Holding and JD.com, Singapore’s Temasek sovereign fund, Google Ventures and a number of other large venture capital firms, said in an official statement it will invest about $500 million to enter Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines within the next four months. Other ASEAN countries, including Malaysia, are expected to follow in the second expansion round as Go-Jek apparently chose countries with larger populations (ex-Singapore) first.

The move is expected to significantly heat up competition and trigger debates on the ride-hailing market, particularly after Uber has left the region and established taxi services in countries such as Thailand continue to stage protests against what they say are illegitimate and unregulated services.

Go-Jek said it was currently working with regulators and other stakeholders across the region to pave the way for the new operations. The company also said that its operations will be run by local teams with technological support and advice from Go-Jek. The local operations will also be given the freedom to determine their own brands and identities.

Go-Jek founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim said that the company indeed intends to fill Uber’s gap in the Southeast Asian market and give consumers in this region more options with its service, putting parts of the $1.5 billion it received in a fundraising round in February 2018 to use.

“Consumers are happiest when they have choice and at the moment, people in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines don’t feel that they’re getting enough when it comes to ride-hailing,” he said, adding that “we hope that as we arrive in new markets, we will quickly become everyone’s go-to lifestyle app. That is our aspiration. In the meantime, we hope our presence will provide the welcome competition markets need to thrive.”

On its home market, Go-Jek has also launched a cashless payment service called Go-Pay, a feature that cannot only be used to pay for rides, but also for payments at street food stalls and convenience stores. The company has also announced its foray into content creation by launching a streaming platform and media production house. According to Makarim, the company is also looking into the possibility of an IPO “in the next few years.”

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Go-Jek founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim

Indonesia’s homegrown ride-hailing app Go-Jek on May 24 confirmed earlier reports that it will launch its services in four other Southeast Asian countries as part of its regional expansion strategy.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Go-Jek founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim

Indonesia’s homegrown ride-hailing app Go-Jek on May 24 confirmed earlier reports that it will launch its services in four other Southeast Asian countries as part of its regional expansion strategy.

Go-Jek, which is funded by investors with deep pockets such as China’s Tencent Holding and JD.com, Singapore’s Temasek sovereign fund, Google Ventures and a number of other large venture capital firms, said in an official statement it will invest about $500 million to enter Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines within the next four months. Other ASEAN countries, including Malaysia, are expected to follow in the second expansion round as Go-Jek apparently chose countries with larger populations (ex-Singapore) first.

The move is expected to significantly heat up competition and trigger debates on the ride-hailing market, particularly after Uber has left the region and established taxi services in countries such as Thailand continue to stage protests against what they say are illegitimate and unregulated services.

Go-Jek said it was currently working with regulators and other stakeholders across the region to pave the way for the new operations. The company also said that its operations will be run by local teams with technological support and advice from Go-Jek. The local operations will also be given the freedom to determine their own brands and identities.

Go-Jek founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim said that the company indeed intends to fill Uber’s gap in the Southeast Asian market and give consumers in this region more options with its service, putting parts of the $1.5 billion it received in a fundraising round in February 2018 to use.

“Consumers are happiest when they have choice and at the moment, people in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines don’t feel that they’re getting enough when it comes to ride-hailing,” he said, adding that “we hope that as we arrive in new markets, we will quickly become everyone’s go-to lifestyle app. That is our aspiration. In the meantime, we hope our presence will provide the welcome competition markets need to thrive.”

On its home market, Go-Jek has also launched a cashless payment service called Go-Pay, a feature that cannot only be used to pay for rides, but also for payments at street food stalls and convenience stores. The company has also announced its foray into content creation by launching a streaming platform and media production house. According to Makarim, the company is also looking into the possibility of an IPO “in the next few years.”

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