Indonesia’s ride-sharing startup Go-Jek plans to land in Singapore, its arch-rival Grab’s HQ, as soon as this month as its regional expansion program gains speed, TechCrunch has come to understand.
Go-Jek has grown to become a $5 billion business that’s backed by the likes of Google and Tencent without venturing out of Indonesia, where its original motorbike taxi-hailing app has fanned out to cover cars, on-demand services, payments and more. But it decided to expand in Southeast Asia following Uber’s exit from the region in March, landing first in Vietnam and then Thailand, where it has recruited drivers and is close to commencing its service.
Singapore — a far smaller market but one that’s hugely symbolic — is on its radar and Go-Jek plans to introduce a service in the country before the end of October, a source with knowledge of the plans told TechCrunch.
Exactly what that’ll look like isn’t clear. Unlike Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, Singapore doesn’t allow motorbike taxis so the company will be launching cars right off the bat. Go-Jek remains in discussions with ComfortDelGro, Singapore’s largest taxi operator which previously had an agreement with Uber, but it may also launch its own private car service to rival Grab directly.
Go-Jek is also currently in discussions with investors with a view to raising $2 billion to finance the next stage of its expansion.
Grab was founded in Malaysia but it has since moved its headquarters to Singapore where it is registered as a business. The company was recently valued at $11 billion following the completion of a $2 billion financing round.
Consumers have complained about a lack of options following Uber’s exit and Singapore’s regulators fined Uber and Grab over its “anti-competitive” merger deal, but Grab co-founder Hooi Ling Tan has maintained there’s plenty of competition. Certainly, her statement will ring truer when Go-Jek cars are driving around on Grab’s front lawn.