How Go-Jek’s entry to Singapore pits against Grab’s dominance

1 min read

The last few months have been eventful for the ride-hailing industry in Singapore (and Southeast Asia at large, too). We watched how Uber and Grab once went head-on with each other, and Uber’s unexpected ‘exit’, to new players like GoJek challenging the now Grab-dominated space in Southeast Asia.

TL;DR: Will Go-Jek rides be cheaper than Grab’s? Can I earn more with the same amount of hours I drive?

Since Uber’s merger with Grab in March, Singapore has welcomed other ride-hailing players like Ryde and Jungnoo, but up till now, nothing that has proven to shake Grab’s dominance in the market.

Image credit: ST File

How well Go-Jek will be received depends on whether they are able to offer greater solutions to these gripes that people currently have:

Passengers – Lack of alternative, fluctuating ride pricing, unreasonable fare hikes, unfavourable GrabRewards points systems after the merger, the difficulty of getting a ride without surge pricing, additional charges for food delivery during “low manpower” hours

Drivers – Unfair driver incentives, long working hours to make ends meet, customer service issues

Both Grab and GoJek have billions of dollars in funding fueling their growth, and this is how they pit against each other:

Funding Rounds718
Total Disclosed Funding$3.3 billion$6.6 billion
Number of Investors2337
2010Launches as phone-booking motorbike
taxi service in Indonesia
Launches as private car hire
service MyTeksi in Malaysia
2012Expands across M'sia, begins
working with licensed taxi firms
2013Expands into SG, TH, PH with
new name GrabTaxi
2014Expands to ID and VN
Launches GrabBike for motorbikes
Achieves unicorn status (A privately held startup
company valued at over $1 billion)
2015Launch of mobile app
GrabBike is live in IDIntroduces on-demand services such as
food&parcel delivery, groceries delivery, massage, event ticketing
2016Launches private car-hailing
Acquires ID fintech start up MVCommerce,
giving regulatory clearance for GoPay.
Achieves unicorn status
Acquires ID start up Kudo to grow
Grab's e-wallet GrabPay
Launch of GrabRewards opens up new ways for
merchants to tap into largest customer loyalty programme in S.E.A
GrabPay moves into offline
transactions/payments for SG merchants
Strengthen GoPay with acquisition of
ID start ups Kartuku, Midtrans and Mapan
2018Acquires Uber's S.E.A operations
Rebrands UberEats as GrabFood
Begin to offer micro-loans and other
financial services; partners with MasterCard for global payments
Begin to offer micro-loans
and other financial services
Launches GrabPlatform
API suite for 3rd party developers
Announces $500 million plan
to expand beyond ID for the first time
Unveils localised brands Get and GoViet
for Thailand and Vietnam respectively
Dockless bike platform GrabCycle receives
bike-sharing operator's license in SG
GoViet goes live in VN
Launches VC and incubation unit, Grab Ventures
Invests in news app Kumparan (reportedly
through new VC unit Go-Ventures)
Begins pre-registration of drivers in SG
Go-Jek credit card
Trials virtual credit card service
for in-app payments

Both ventures face impending obstacles in the Singapore market as they fight to be the top ‘everyday app’ for consumers.

Grab being an old player would potentially lose customers to the new entrant who could put up a strong fight with more competitive rates, especially if Grab had not done a good job in retaining loyal customers with their fluctuating pricing mechanisms and altering of the GrabRewards algorithm.

Go-Jek, on the other hand, could pose as a lifeline for not just consumers but drivers as well, who see this as a chance to opt-out of the general consensus of unsatisfactory driver rewards with Grab. Their pre-launch driver signups showed promising numbers and this would give Go-Jek a jump start for their launch.

Image credit: jarrak.id

What’s left to do now is anticipate the official launch of Go-Jek services (we hear it’s real soon!) in Singapore and see how both fare, along with the slew of other smaller players.

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