Grab expands service to 75 Indonesian cities as Go-Jek looks beyond country

Photo: Bloomberg

Grab Indonesia is expanding its services to 75 cities across Indonesia including Banda Aceh and Jayapura – claiming to be the first mobile platform available from Aceh to Papua, the company said in a statement today.

The announcement came as Grab’s fiercest rival in Indonesia, Go-Jek, revealed a plan to widen its ride-hailing services to “three to four countries in Southeast Asia” to directly challenge its competitor, as reported by Bloomberg yesterday.

With the expansion, Grab now becomes the largest mobile platform in Indonesia in terms of geographical footprint, and the first-ever on-demand transportation to serve eastern and western province of Indonesia.

“The Grab service in the new cities will continue to leverage on the same safety aspects that we have set, from daily operations to driver training to technology features as safety is paramount to Grab. With a strong presence in seven countries regionally and more than 60 million downloads, we are certainly poised to be the ride of choice for locals and regional travellers.” said Mediko Azwar, Marketing Director Grab Indonesia.

Grab’s core product platform includes cars, motorbikes and taxi-hailing. It states a market share of 95% in third-party taxi-hailing and 72% in private vehicle hailing and currently offers services in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.

It’s time to bring competition to their doorsteps”

Rivalry between Go-Jek and Grab – both very well-funded by Chinese giants – continues to escalate as the ride-hailing apps compete to win market share in Indonesia – home to more than 250 million people.

“We’ve always been on the defensive,” Go-Jek founder Nadiem Makarim said in Jakarta, as quoted by Bloomberg. “It’s time to bring competition to their doorsteps.”

Both Go-Jek and Grab have launched mobile digital-payment services specifically designed to reach the large number of population that have no access to banking. Makarim has also hinted that the company will expand in countries where cash still dominates the majority of transactions.

Go-Jek raised $1.2 billion from Tencent in May, while Grab received $2 billion from Didi Chuxing and SoftBank.

$3b invested in Indonesian startups year-to-date

A study by Google-AT Kearney noted that Indonesian startups have received approximately US$3 billion in the first eight months of 2017 – already two-fold the total amount of investments it received in 2016 of $1.4 billion. In 2012, the number was only $44 million.

The report said that Chinese investors are becoming “heavily involved” in Indonesia’s startup environment, accounting for 95 per cent of the country’s total investment value this year.

Most of the investments are still in the seed or early stage funding. There was a total of 53 investment deals, 43% of which were seed funding and 30% Series A.

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