EVER since Uber sold its majority stakes of its Southeast Asian operations to Grab, the Singapore-based company has been dominating the ride-hailing industry in the region. But new plans by Indonesia’s popular Go-Jek threaten that monopoly.
The company on Thursday announced it would invest US$500 million in its international push, according to Reuters, with its first venture to involve ride-hailing services in key Southeast Asian countries before expanding to other sectors.
“People in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines don’t feel that they’re getting enough (choice) when it comes to ride-hailing,” CEO Nadiem Makarim was quoted as saying.
The company said that it will provide “technological support and expertise” to local founding teams in each of the four markets, CNBC reported. Those local companies would work to gain traction and “determine their own brands and identities”.
“We visited all those countries and we felt like the solutions that we provided in Indonesia will probably be suitable to some of these countries,” Andre Soelistyo, president of Go-Jek, was quoted as saying.
Starting off as a ride-hailing company that offered motorbike rides, Go-Jek moved into other services like takeaway food delivery, groceries and payments.
According to CNBC, Go-Jek bought three financial technology, or fintech, companies last year to boost its presence in Indonesia’s digital payments sector. Backed by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and Chinese tech giant Tencent, the company’s services are used in 50 cities across Indonesia.
In April, Uber Technologies Inc sold its Southeast Asian operations to local competitor Grab, leaving a void in competitors in the region of expanding markets.
Go-Jek said it was working with regulators and other stakeholders across the region to prepare for the new operations.
The expansion follows Go-Jek’s latest round of fundraising, which brought investment from companies including Astra International, JD.COM, Tencent and Temasek.
This article originally appeared on our sister website Tech Wire Asia.