GO-JEK will be investing US$500 million into its international expansion, which will see them entering Singapore, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam in the next few months. The move will start with ride-hailing, with plans to replicate its multiple-service business model in Indonesia which it is famed for.
GO-JEK added it is currently working with regulators and other stakeholders across the region to pave the way for the new operations, which will be run by local founding teams. Meanwhile, GO-JEK will provide technological support and expertise while acting as an advisor.
The statement added that the local companies will determine their own brands and identities to ensure good traction in each new market. GO-JEK will also seek out local partners with interests and expertise in each of the new markets. This is to ensure the new operations benefit from as much deep and varied market knowledge as possible.
“Consumers are happiest when they have choice and at the moment, people in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines don’t feel that they’re getting enough when it comes to ride-hailing,” GO-JEK CEO and founder Nadiem Makarim, said. He added that as GO-JEK arrives in new markets, it hopes its presence will provide the welcome competition markets need to thrive.
“We have been considering international expansion for a long time and wanted to make sure that we initiate a plan when we’re in the strongest possible position to do so. Our most recent funding saw the addition of a significant number of strategic investors both Indonesian and global,” GO-JEK President, Andre Soelistyo, said.
News of GO-JEK’s impending expansion first emerged last month following the exit of Uber in Southeast Asia. According to Reuters, as seen in an internal memo, Makarim shared that the company will also be expanding to three other SEA countries – which local newspaper The Straits Times speculated to be Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.
GO-JEK was most recently tipped to be in talks with Singapore taxi operator ComfortDelGro for a tie-up to enter the Singapore market. Talks between both entities are still in the early stages, according to TechCrunch’s sources. In a statement, a GO-JEK spokesperson said the company does not comment on rumours and speculation. Meanwhile, ComfortDelGro has not responded to Marketing’s queries.
GO-JEK also bagged US$150 million funding from Astra International and Google, which was earlier tipped to be in the investment round along with Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, according to Reuters sources. This also saw companies such as Meituan-Dianping is also taking part in the round, along with existing investors such as global private equity firms KKR & Co LP and Warburg Pincus LLC. This is to raise around US$1.2 billion in total.
It also struck a partnership with VICE Media in Indonesia to produce a slate of original content. This came on the back of VICE Indonesia’s first local foray into feature film titled When We Dance, produced in partnership with GO-JEK.