Go-Jek Grabs Singapore After the Philippines' Rejection

The Indonesian company is expanding rapidly in Singapore that is home to its arch-rival Grab
Go-Jek Grabs Singapore After the Philippines' Rejection
Image credit: Go-Jek
Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific
3 min read


On 9th January morning when people woke up in Singapore, they received a message from the ride-hailing company Go-Jek, which said, "open for all, islandwide".  Wonder what is it?

Philippine Rejection

The Indonesia-based ride-hailing startup Go-Jek made its app accessible to all customers in Singapore after it lost the regulatory battle to operate in the Philippines with Philippine Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). The Indonesian company is expanding rapidly in Singapore that is home to its arch-rival Grab. The app is now available on Google Play and the iOS devices, which was earlier just available for DBS/POSB bank customers in the country.

Go-Jek entered the Singaporean market in November last year. The company made its official launch announcement earlier this year on January 2. And now, it’s going full throttle to capture the maximum users in the market.

Go-Jek’s initial Singapore offering was open to a limited customer base when it launched in November. But today the company operates across the city and is open to all 5.8 million Singaporeans.

In a statement to press, Go-Jek president Andre Soelistyo says, "After the success of the initial phase of our beta launch, we are excited to extend our beta phase to all consumers in Singapore to give everyone the chance to experience Go-Jek.

"We are committed to bringing choice back to the ride-hailing market in Singapore, the hub for innovation and urban mobility in Southeast Asia. Through our gradual roll-out of the app, we are ensuring that Go-Jek meets Singapore's needs and will stand the test of time," he adds.

GoJek v/s Grab

Go-Jek has been accelerating its expansion in the Southeast Asian region from the past one year. Last year, the company also entered markets in Vietnam and Thailand. Its application for a legal licence to operate in the Philippine was refused by the Board on the grounds that it violated the regulation requiring the Philippine individuals or entities to own 60 per cent of a TNC, according to Kompass.com.

“We continue to engage positively with the LTFRB and other government agencies, as we seek to provide a much-needed transport solution for the people of the Philippines,” said Go-Jek representative in a statement.

The company’s entry into the Singapore market will be a tough competition for Grab, which is the leader in the ride-hailing space in Southeast Asia. The Google and Tencent backed Indonesian unicorn is accelerating its expansion services while Grab is maintaining a stronghold in its home-base Indonesia.

The company’s website is now putting up recruitment ads to hire local drivers to boost its car-booking services in the land of its arch-rival Grab.

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