Hi there, its Khamila from Jakarta.
This week, we witnessed two of Southeast Asia’s biggest tech companies, Grab and Go-Jek, reach new milestones as they compete to become the region’s principal super app.
Indonesia-based ride-hailing unicorn Go-Jek kicked off the week by announcing a fresh investment of US$100 million from Astra International. The company is nearing the close of its Series F round; it also aims to raise US$2 billion from various investment banks. As Astra had participated in Go-Jek’s Series E funding round, its stake in the company is now US$250 million.
On Wednesday, Grab announced exciting news about a US$1.46 billion investment that brings the total funding for its Series H round to US$4.5 billion, making it the largest private fundraising round in Southeast Asia. There were some big names among the investors, including Toyota Motor Corporation, Booking Holdings, Microsoft Corporation, Ping An Capital, and SoftBank.
Grab will put the new funds toward innovations and services in Singapore and Indonesia. One of the company’s major initiatives in Indonesia is the cultivation of digital infrastructure in Greater Jakarta’s BSD City with its partner, Indonesian developer Sinar Mas Land. BSD City is set to become the country’s first digital city, and Grab will provide smart, clean transportation in the community, support the growth of micro and small businesses, and drive technology developments within BSD City. The ride-hailing giant will also utilise BSD City to pilot its future services.
It has been a two-horse race between Grab and Go-Jek for quite some time now. While Grab seems to continue strengthening its position in Indonesia, Go-Jek is also improving the services for its drivers in Singapore. After launching an insurance scheme that will provide coverage for those who form the backbone of its business last week, the company announced another collaboration with Singapore-based telehealth platform Doctor Anywhere, which will connect Go-Jek’s drivers with medical professionals when needed.
Competition between the two Southeast Asian tech giants is becoming fiercer, as both companies have expanded beyond ride-hailing and are jostling to be the number one app in the region. The race is tight, especially here in Indonesia. In the mobile payments sector, Go-Jek’s fintech subsidiary Go-Pay and Grab’s OVO are the leading players, and few expect that this will change any time soon.
The rivalry between Grab and Go-Jek shows the dynamism present in Southeast Asia’s digital sector. Competition is a good thing, as it will bring forth innovation and new services from both companies, and therefore benefit their customers. For now, let’s enjoy the ride and see how these two companies will transform lives with their technology!
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