SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment firm Go-Jek on Thursday said it would enter Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines in the next few months, investing $500 million in its international push.
The company, which began as a ride-hailing app for motorcycle taxis, was set up by Nadiem Makarim, a graduate of the Harvard School of Business and a former associate with McKinsey, who has quickly become a poster child for start-up success in Indonesia.
Go-Jek has become a crucial workaround in Jakarta, which has some of the worst traffic in the world. The service’s riders can move goods and people faster around the city than cars, helping businesses increase sales dramatically as they reach more consumers.
The international move will start with ride-hailing services before expanding to other sectors, Go-Jek said in a statement.
“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 said in the statement.
The announcement comes after Uber Technologies Inc sold its Southeast Asian operations to local competitor Grab.
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.
(Reporting by Jack Kim and Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Joseph Radford)