Malaysia allows Gojek, local startup Dego Ride to test run bike hailing service

Gojek driver helmets are seen during Go-Food festival in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 27, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Malaysia will allow motorcycle-hailing firms such as Indonesia’s Gojek and local start-up Dego Ride to start operations on a limited scale from January 2020, Malaysia’s transport minister said on Tuesday.

Gojek – whose backers include Alphabet’s Google and Chinese tech companies Tencent and JD.com  – and Dego Ride will start operating based on a proof-of-concept basis to measure demand for the service over six months, Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said.

“Bike hailing will be an important component in providing a comprehensive public transport system, as a mode for first- and last-mile connectivity,” Loke told parliament during the minister’s question time.

The minister said the pilot project will be limited to the Klang Valley, Malaysia’s most developed region and where the capital city of Kuala Lumpur is located, although the government will consider expanding it to other areas if there is demand.

The six-month, proof-of-concept pilot programme will allow the government and participating firms to gather data and evaluate demand for the service, while the government works on drafting legislation to govern bike-hailing, Loke said.

“Bike-hailing will be subject to similar regulations as laid out for e-hailing,” the minister said, referring to existing ride-hailing operations by companies such as Grab.

Gojek‘s impending entry into Malaysia will likely pose the biggest challenge to Grab, which took the lion’s share of the nation’s e-hailing market after it bought over Uber Technology Inc’s operations in Southeast Asia last year.

Grab, which is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, has struggled to adapt to new regulations requiring all ride-hailing drivers to apply for specific licences, permits and insurance, and have their vehicles and health checked.

Grab Malaysia said in October that only 52% of its driver-partners were licensed under the regulations that took effect the same month.

“Bring it on! It is indeed healthy competition,” Grab Malaysia said on Twitter after the minister’s announcement.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.