Go-Jek enters ride-hailing fray with GET
Service to launch in coming months
Go-Jek, an Indonesia-based unicorn offering ride-hailing services, is expanding to Thailand through the establishment of a partnership with GET, intensifying competition in the sector.
Go-Jek said in a press statement it plans to launch service in Bangkok in the coming months. GET will provide app-based on-demand services, focusing on developing a ride-hailing offering first before expanding into a broader range of services.
The move follows the announcement last month of Go-Jek's US$500 million (16.5 billion baht) plan to launch in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.
The announcement followed Go-Jek's latest fundraising round, which saw backing from Google, Warburg Pincus, KKR, Tencent and Meituan-Dianping, among others.
Pinya Nittayakasetwat, chief executive and co-founder of GET, said the launch of GET is the latest step of Go-Jek's international expansion plan. The brand was developed in Thailand and benefits from a Thai founding management team with extensive experience in the tech industry and in-depth knowledge of Thai consumers, drivers and other stakeholders.
The company aims to make life easier for Thais while providing partner drivers and local entrepreneurs with access to additional income sources.
Mr Pinya said Go-Jek became the first home-grown unicorn in Indonesia because it believes technology can provide solutions to the country's most pressing problems.
"The GET team is inspired by the way the company turned the pain experienced everyday by commuters into a business opportunity, improving the lives of millions of people. We are driven by the same philosophy and we share the same passion to make a positive impact on Thai society," he said.
"We were born and raised in Thailand, so we have a deep understanding of Thai consumer needs. Having worked in the tech industry for a number of years, we have seen firsthand the positive impact technology can bring to everyone, whether consumers, drivers or SME owners. With Go-Jek's support in technology and know-how, we are confident we can scale up quickly and become Thailand's preferred choice."
Go-Jek is the largest on-demand multi-service platform in Indonesia, which has been used by than one million drivers and over 150,000 merchants.
Nadiem Makarim, chief executive and founder, said its business model has proven successful in Indonesia because of the focus on improving life for consumers and drivers there, adding Thailand can benefit in a similar way.
As a Thai application that benefits from world-class technology, GET strives to become an essential part of life in Thailand, he said. The company is currently engaging with multiple stakeholders, including the government, drivers and consumers as it aims to launch its product offerings in the next few months.
Mr Pinya said GET will work with the government to develop technology that improves the lives of as many Thais as possible.
Jarit Sidhu, head of operations for IDC Thailand, a leading research firm, said the service will create more competition in the market, as the new player will have to invest in attracting drivers and passengers.
Previously, Uber spent $700 million (23.1 billion baht) on ride-hailing service in Southeast Asia, so Go-Jek's success might depend on the depth of its pockets, said Mr Sidhu.
He said the company could prove to be a success in six months time.