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GO-JEK Enters into Four New Markets, Plans to Invest $500M in International Expansion

GO-JEK is currently working with regulators and other stakeholders across the region to pave the way for the new operations.

GO-JEK has confirmed that it is to invest $500 million in its international expansion strategy. The company will enter Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines within the next few months, starting with ride-hailing but ultimately aiming to replicate the multiple-service business model that has made it the market leader in Indonesia.

TheJakarta-based company, whose backers include China’s Tencent, is currently working with regulators and other stakeholders across the region to pave the way for the new operations. The companies will be run by local founding teams, with GO-JEK providing technological support and expertise gathered over the past three years as Indonesia’s most revolutionary tech business. The local companies will determine their own brands and identities to ensure good traction in each new market.

The international expansion follows many months of detailed planning and market research following GO-JEK’s latest fundraising round, which brought investment from Astra International, Google, JD.COM, Meituan, Tencent and Temasek among others, as the company aims to expand its presence in Southeast Asia.

GO-JEK’s Tech team is currently spread across India, Singapore and Indonesia.

GO-JEK CEO and Founder Nadiem Makarim, said: “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. We hope that as we arrive in new markets, we will quickly become everyone’s go-to lifestyle app. That is our aspiration. In the meantime, we hope our presence will provide the welcome competition markets need to thrive.”

He further added, “Our aim is to partner with countries and their governments to bring benefit to everyone who uses our technology whether consumers looking for fast, competitive services, or drivers looking to secure additional income. GO-JEK has a positive impact on millions of people throughout Indonesia and we want more people to share in that benefit. We believe the best way for us to expand internationally is by partnering with talented local teams who share our vision and know exactly what will work best in their home countries. Our role will be to act as advisors, giving the new companies the benefit of our operational and development experience so they can take the spirit with which we created GO-JEK and find the best way to achieve that locally.”

The company will seek out local partners with interests and expertise in each of the new markets to ensure the new operations benefit from as much deep and varied market knowledge as possible.

GO-JEK President, Andre Soelistyo, said: “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. We are therefore confident that we have the support needed to take one of the most amazing growth stories in the world from being an Indonesian phenomenon to a regional one.”

Go-Jek started off as a motorbike ride-hailing company and then moved into segments like food delivery, groceries and payments. In 2017, it had acquired 3 fintech companies to boost its presence in Indonesia's digital payments sector. 

The company is currently providing its services in 50 cities across Indonesia.

With the new expansion, Go-Jek would be competing with Singapore-based company Grab, which has similar services such as ride-hailing, digital payments and food delivery.

Both startups are already competing in Indonesia, where Grab is trying to establish a stronghold with the acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia business in March. 

In February, Grab had secured $1.5 billion in a fundraising round from a dozen investors including BlackRock and Google, which valued the company at $5 billion.

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