Indonesian ride-hailing giant Go-Jek has identified Singapore as one of the Southeast Asian markets it plans to expand to this year, according to a report by The Straits Times on Monday.
Sourcing information from a Go-Jek shareholder, the article reported that the other target countries for the Indonesian unicorn this year are the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Go-Jek has not immediately responded to a request for confirmation on the report.
Last week, Reuters reported, based on a internal company memo, that Go-Jek is set to announce its first expansion to another country in Southeast Asia in the “next few weeks” and plans to expand to three other Southeast Asian countries by the middle of this year.
The deal has been greeted with concern by regulatory bodies in some Southeast Asian countries who fear virtual monopoly by Grab in the ride-hailing market.
Singapore, which suspects competition infringement, has proposed interim measures to require Uber and Grab to maintain their pre-transaction independent pricing until it completes an investigation of the deal. Similarly, authorities in the Philippines and Malaysia have also said they would be reviewing the deal.
The lack of competition in numerous Southeast Asian markets following Grab’s acquisition of Uber could be seen as a signal for Go-Jek to accelerate its expansion plans in the respective markets. A Philippine lawmaker has even openly suggested that Go-Jek be encouraged to open its services in the country to re-establish competition, according to reports by local media.
In Singapore, the ride-hailing market is currently counting on homegrown carpooling app Ryde Technologies to provide competition to Grab, who has been dominating the market with Uber being its closest rival. Ryde is set to launch a private-car hire service, RydeX, in the coming weeks.
In October last year, Go-Jek founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim announced plans for the startup to operate in four other member countries of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) but did not specify the targeted countries.
Late last year, Go-Jek had identified the Philippines as the first country in the region where it will set up operations in. It also told Reuters at the time that “almost all Southeast Asian countries are on the radar over the next three, six to 12 months”.
In a more recent report about Go-Jek’s expansion move, this portal in early March reported an information it received industry sources that the startup was in the process of recruiting professionals in Vietnam to drive its entry into the country.