Indonesian ride-hailing service Go-Jek’s value has been estimated at US$10 billion by a United States (US) market intelligence company, putting it in the ranks of start-ups called decacorns.New York-based CB Insights has listed Go-Jek among 19 decacorns around the world, along with the likes of Uber Technologies Inc.
Ever since Grab bought over Uber’s Southeast Asia-based business last March, social media has been abuzz with complaints against the ride-hailing giant. Complaints about Grab are mostly related to sudden hikes in fare prices after a deal which saw US-based Uber Technologies sell its Southeast Asia business for a 27.5 percent stake in Grab.
A previous article published by The ASEAN Post on ride-hailing ended with the lingering question on whether some taxi drivers are refusing to change their attitudes even after facing tough competition from ride-hailing services.
Who would have thought a startup which first began as a taxi-booking app in Kuala Lumpur would end up beating ride-sharing giants Uber at its own game? When Grab first expanded into the e-hailing service industry, many saw it as a carbon-copy of Uber and did not think much of it. Today, Grab’s grip on the regional e-hailing service industry is stronger than ever.Humble beginningsBefore Grab became the e-hailing behemoth it is today, the startup founded by Anthony Tan was first named MyTeksi.
When pioneer of the ride-hailing business, Uber announced that it will exit the Southeast Asian market, consumers feared that this would effectively mean a Grab monopoly in the market. However, ever since Uber’s exit, many new startups have entered the ride-hailing business looking to fill the gap left by Uber. Throughout the region, new ride-hailing apps are mushrooming.
The news of an impending acquisition by Grab of Uber's Southeast Asian business is now drawing the scrutiny of Southeast Asian regulators. Their concern is that a monopoly on ride-hailing services would hurt instead of benefit consumers in the long run. According to reporting by the Wall Street Journal, Uber is said to have agreed to sell most of its Southeast Asian operations to Grab, in exchange for between 20-30% of Grab’s equity.
The competition between ride-hailing apps in the region could slowly become a one horse-race as the tech world has been rocked with rumours of Uber exiting the region. The speculation began after Japan’s SoftBank made a US$1.25 billion investment in Uber that effectively made them the company’s largest shareholder.
Mobile ride-hailing applications are modernising and enhancing urban transportation systems in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia, 250 million people have embraced the use of apps such as Grab, Go-Jek and Uber, according to a 2018 ecommerceIQ (eIQ) - a market research brand dedicated to ecommerce - report.
Technology has changed the way consumers decide about food choices; be it where and when to buy it, or how it should be delivered to them. This in turn influences how the food industry reaches out to its customers today. The challenge for the food industry is to provide highly efficient services while catering to unique customer preferences in different markets across Southeast Asia.
Grab first started out as MyTeksi in Malaysia. Its founder Anthony Tan started the business to improve on the poor state of the existing taxi system here, and to provide better security for women, whenever they used public transport. Grab’s initial strategy to use technology to overcome these issues has since proven itself across still-developing Southeast Asia. As of 2017 the company holds 72% of market share in private vehicle hailing across a total of 156 cities in the region.