image

Sharing economy

Indonesia’s Go-Jek could launch ride-hailing service in Singapore this month as it looks to challenge Grab

An expansion to Singapore would make the city state Go-Jek’s second international market

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2018, 6:11pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2018, 6:41pm

Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek could launch its services in Singapore as soon as this month, as the company picks up speed in its regional expansion initiative to challenge Singapore-based rival Grab.

An expansion to Singapore would make the city state Go-Jek’s second international market, after it introduced services in Vietnam with local partner Go-Viet in September. The news was first reported by technology news site TechCrunch, without citing a source.

Go-Jek has also reportedly been in talks with Comfort-Delgro, Singapore’s largest taxi operator that previously struck an exclusivity deal with Uber Technologies.

Singapore, a small but significant market in Southeast Asia for ride-hailing companies, is particularly valuable thanks to its higher fares for taxis and private-car rides compared to other markets.

Go-jek in talks to raise at least US$2 billion in funding

Go-Jek did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Before its regional launches, Go-Jek competed solely in its domestic market of Indonesia, where it operates a super-app platform that lets users hail rides and even order food, over-the-counter medication and massage services on-demand.

The company earlier this year announced that it would be expanding regionally to four markets – Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines – as it looks to challenge rival Grab’s dominance in the region. Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing market is estimated to be worth US$20.1 billion by 2025, according to a report by Temasek Holdings and Google.

Apart from its launch in Vietnam and potentially Singapore, Go-Jek has also said it will launch its Thailand service under the name Get, by working with a local partner. The Go-Viet and Get apps will not be interoperable with Go-jek’s main app, which means that users will have to download a different app in each market. In contrast, users can use the same Grab app to hail a ride in any of the markets it operates in.

Singapore watchdog fines Grab, Uber US$9.5 million over merger

Go-Jek’s regional expansion is seen by some as a welcome alternative to challenge Grab’s dominance in Southeast Asia. Following Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia operations, some consumers have complained about a lack of rivals and increased fares on Grab’s rides.

Last month, Singapore’s competition watchdog, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore, deemed the Grab-Uber deal anticompetitive and slapped both companies with a combined S$13 million (US$9.5 million) fine, instructing Grab to do away with any exclusivity arrangements it has with partners, as well as to maintain pre-merger pricing algorithms and commission rates for drivers.