Go-Jek, the Indonesia-based ride-sharing company valued at $5 billion, has begun its ambitious plan to increase its rivalry with Grab by expanding into three new markets after it opened shop in Vietnam.
The service — which is known as Go-Viet — covers an initial 12 districts in Ho Chi Minh City with a motorbike on-demand service. Rival Grab is in 39 cities in Vietnam and its services include motorbikes, taxis, private cars and food delivery.
The Vietnam launch is August 1 as TechCrunch reported in June. The plan is to then expand into Thailand in September, and the Philippines before the end of this year. Singapore remains a market that Go-Jek would like to enter — it has held partnership talks with taxi operator ComfortDelGro — but it remains unclear whether, and when, that might happen.
Go-Jek expansion plan will put some heat on Grab, which has occupied a near-dominant position across Southeast Asia since it acquired Uber’s local business back in March.
Unlike Grab, though, Go-Jek is taking an individual approach in each of its countries. Not only will it use a different name in each country — in Thailand it will be called “Get” — it has hired local ‘founder’ teams who will be responsible for service offerings and other local business aspects. It isn’t clear how closely they will work with the core Go-Jek team in Indonesia.
That may mean anyone traveling between countries will need to download local Go-Jek apps, which is in contrast to Grab, which offers a universal app for eight countries in Southeast Asia although the services offered do differ locally. Grab recently introduced a new design for its app, aimed at showcasing its full set of services beyond simply ride-sharing.
Valued at $10 billion, Grab has raised over $5 billion from investors, including its most recent $1 billion investment from Toyota. Go-Jek has pulled in just over $2 billion. Tencent, Google, Meituan and others participated in its most recent (estimated) $1.4 billion raise which closed earlier this year.
Note: The original version of this article was updated to reflect that Grab claims to be present in 39 cities in Vietnam despite listing five on its website.