Go-Jek expands into four new markets with $500m investment

A Go Jek driver rides a motorcycle on a street in Jakarta Indonesia

A Go Jek driver rides a motorcycle on a street in Jakarta Indonesia

Go-Jek, Indonesia's first billion dollar startup, will invest US$500 million to expand ride-hailing and other services to four Southeast Asian countries, taking advantage of Uber's pull-out from the region to make its first worldwide foray.

The company said it will provide "technological support and expertise" to local founding teams in each of the four markets, CNBC reported.

Initially, Go-Jek will start with its ride-hailing model in the newer geographies and then will look to replicate its multiple-service business model. It said each of the overseas businesses will have local founders and develop their own brands "to ensure good traction in each new market".

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"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. 56% of Indonesian picked Go-Jek as their most often used ride-hailing app, while 33% preferred Grab.

Just last month, Singapore taxi operator ComfortDelGro was said to be exploring a new deal with Go-Jek, after a partnership with Uber - which has since exited Singapore - fell through.

The expansion plan pits Go-Jek directly against larger rival Grab, including in the latter's home market of Singapore.

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Go-Jek President, Andre Soelistyo, said, "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 unbelievable growth stories in the world from being an Indonesian phenomenon to a regional one", he added. A Go-Jek motorcycle taxi driver ferries passengers in Jakarta, Indonesia Thursday.

The company is now providing its services in 50 cities across Indonesia. Grab already operates in eight countries in Southeast Asia, a region of more than 600 million people. It recently raised funds from investors including Google, Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Temasek Holdings Pte and was valued around $1.8 billion in 2016 by CB Insights.

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