Go-Jek said to launch ride-hailing services in Singapore this month

Go-Jek CEO Nadiem Makarim
Nadiem Makarim at the Bloomberg Year Ahead Asia Conference in Jakarta on Dec. 6. Photographer: Graham Crouch/Bloomberg

Indonesia’s ride-hailing and online payments unicorn Go-Jek plans to launch its ride-sharing services in Singapore by the end of this month, per a report by TechCrunch.

Go-Jek declined to comment on this development.

The news comes just one week after Singapore’s anti-trust commission slapped a combined $9.5-million fine on Grab and Uber. The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore ruled that the sale of Uber’s Southeast Asia operations to Grab in return for a 27.5 per cent stake in the latter had significantly reduced competition in the ride-hailing market.

The anti-trust watchdog had also criticised Grab for raising effective prices by 10-15 per cent after the Uber deal, although the ride-hailing firm contested the claim.

Grab is currently the ride-hailing market leader in Singapore, with an 80 per cent market share, the CCCS had noted in its verdict. The arrival of Go-Jek is, therefore, highly anticipated as it is expected to revive competition in the market.

Go-Jek, which officially revealed its overseas expansion plans shortly after the Uber-Grab deal was announced, has so far kicked off operations in Vietnam and Thailand. However, its market expansion hasn’t been completely unhindered. Last week, local media reports said the Philippine Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) had put Go-Jek’s application to enter the country on hold.

At the EPF Global Private Equity Summit last Wednesday, co-founder Kevin Aluwi explained why the company felt the time was right for it to look beyond its home market.

“We’ve gotten to a point where we understand that building that multi-vertical platform is a step-by-step process, and we now have a sense of what that looks like. We have a greater sense of confidence in terms of how to build a full on-demand ecosystem. International expansion is not easy, both from being ready as an organisation and as a management team and also from a product and technology standpoint. These are things that historically we simply didn’t have the capacity to do back then but now we’re very confident that we have all the right ingredients,” said Aluwi.

Go-Jek is also reported to be raising at least $2 billion in funding to fuel its international expansion.