There can be few more eye-catching signs of the economic vibrancy of Southeast Asia than competition for ride-hailing services on the streets of its biggest cities. In Jakarta, the bustling capital of Indonesia, it is hard to miss the green-helmeted motorbike taxi riders of Go-Jek, a homegrown company that has built a thriving ride-hailing business in only eight years. Go-Jek, which derives its name from ojek, an Indonesian word for motorbike taxi, launched its first overseas foray in September 2018 by entering Vietnam and tapping into the fast-growing ride-hailing scene in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and other cities. Next up are expansions into Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore. Those moves will pit Go-Jek against the region’s biggest ride-hailing company, Singapore-based Grab, and competitors such as Ryde and MVL, sparking a battle for the region’s booming ride-sharing market. It is a tussle involving considerable sums of money from some big investors. Grab, founded by a Malaysian businessman and operating in eight markets in Southeast Asia, raised US$2 billion in 2018 after a round of funding that attracted investment from Toyota and valued the company at $11 billion. Go-Jek, which already counts Chinese e-commerce giant Tencent and Singapore’s state investment company Temasek as investors,… Read full this story
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