(Photo Credit: Vulcan Post)
Update: 15 November 2018, 10am
When asked by the press at the Singapore Fintech Festival, Go-Jek's president revealed that the ride-hailing company is planning to launch a beta mobile application before this Christmas.
Speaking to TODAY, president of Go-Jek Andre Soelistyo was only willing to reveal Go-Jek's plans to have the beta app ready next month. That was after being tightlipped to the general audience at the Fintech Festival on Go-Jek's official launch date.
Mr Soelistyo admitted during the chat on Wednesday (Nov 13) that he is a “little bit scared” of his company's highly-anticipated launch here because there is “a lot of demand”. He later clarified what he meant with reporters, saying that he was “excited” about the upcoming event.
In a statement via email, Go-Jek said during the beta-testing service period, the firm will be encouraging feedback on the mobile application, and they will be “optimising our operations to better satisfy customers.”
Update: 14 November 2018, 11am
Reports have emerged that Go-Jek has started recruiting large numbers of private-hire drivers onto its platform. However, the date on which the Indonesian ride-hailing company will start operations here in Singapore is still unconfirmed.
The Straits Times has reported that the company, which is viewed as Grab's first formidable rival, is now looking to start in January next year. That refutes earlier reports that Go-Jek was planning to launch on the third week of November this year.
Since September, the ride-hailing company has been signing up interested private-hire drivers via car rental firms. It has also set up a portal last month to allow other interested drivers to pre-register.
As of Tuesday (Nov 13), the firm has begun signing up those pre-registered drivers.
A Go-Jek spokesman told media outlets on Wednesday that, “we can confirm that early-stage driver on-boarding has begun, as we work towards the launch of our beta app in Singapore within the next few weeks.”
He added that, “on-boarding is being carried out in batches, so drivers who are excited about joining us and wondering why they haven't been notified yet should sit tight - we will be in touch with them as soon as possible”.
Update: 29 October 2018, 3pm
Reports have emerged that Go-Jek has started a portal in Singapore for private-hire drivers to “pre-register to use its platform”.
In a press release from Go-Jek on Monday (29 Oct), the firm said, “there has been a huge amount of driver interest here in Singapore and we are pleased to take this important first step toward driver recruitment”.
The Indonesian ride-hailing giant added that, “at Go-Jek, we understand that driver-partners are crucial to successful operations, which is why we’re looking forward to building strong, engaging relationships with the driver community”.
The new portal registers interest from private-hire drivers, and those who leave their contact details would be contacted by Go-Jek soon. The firm will provide contacted drivers with details and steps on how to join the company's upcoming Singapore branch. Following earlier reports, the platform would be launched in Singapore next month.
Those looking to provide Private-Hire services should also check out the following article.
Update: 10 October 2018, 10:15am
The Straits Times reported that Go-Jek has roped in six rental firms to supply vehicles and sign on drivers in preparation for the Indonesian ride-hailing giant's entry into Singapore next month.
Go-Jek will enter the market solo without any major deals. The speculated tie-up with taxi giant ComfortDelGro has since been dropped. According to sources from the industry, Go-Jek approached half a dozen rental companies to sign up private-hire drivers and supply cars to those who don't have one. The car rental firms working with Go-Jek have signed a non-disclosure agreement, thus they are unable to comment on the deal.
Go-Jek is also free to contact the estimated 70,000 Grab drivers because of the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore's non-exclusivity clause with ride-hailing companies.
Go-Jek has yet to comment on their impending arrival, but one source tells the Straits Times that the company plans to offer attractive deals to both riders and drivers to win them over. One said, “We hear that they will not charge any commission, at least initially”.
Indonesian ride-hailing giant Go-Jek might be about to take the ride-hailing fight to Grab’s home ground by the end of this month.
First reported by technology news website, TechCrunch, Go-Jek has gained speed in its regional expansion programme and is looking to launch its ride-hailing service in Singapore by the end of October this year.
Based in Indonesia, Go-Jek isn’t just a simple ride-hailing company. The company started out as a motorcycle-hailing app, before expanding to include cars. Their business has since grown to include services like food delivery, on-demand massages and payment functions, to name a few.
With Uber’s decision to leave the ride-hailing market in South-East Asia (SEA) and selling their stake to now regional giants Grab, Go-Jek has since announced its intention to expand to other countries in SEA. The Indonesian-based company has since entered Thailand and Vietnam where they have recruited drivers and are close to starting their ride-hailing services.
An anonymous source with knowledge on the matter has told TechCrunch that Singapore is on the radar for Go-Jek to expand into. With Singapore being a relatively small market compared to other South-East Asian countries, it is seen as a largely symbolic move. Grab, SEA’s biggest ride-hailing company and Go-Jek’s biggest competitor, is also based here in Singapore.
Details on Go-Jek’s entry into Singapore are unclear, because unlike other SEA countries, authorities here won’t allow motorcycles to perform point-to-point services. That would mean Go-Jek needs to focus on using cars. Currently, their mobile application is already available for download in Singapore ahead of their official launch.
Go-Jek is currently in talks with Singapore’s biggest taxi company, ComfortDelGro, which once had a deal with Uber before they left the Singapore market. However, they could also just launch its own service by recruiting Private-Hire drivers to directly challenge Grab. They are currently in discussions with investors over a US$2 billion (S$2.76 million) sum to expand regionally into other markets.
According to reports by Temasek Holdings and Google, some experts put the value of the SEA’s ride-hailing market at US$20.1 billion (S$27.77 billion) by 2025. With Grab’s dominance in the ride-hailing market in SEA and the company currently holding 80% market share in its home country, many see Go-Jek’s upcoming entrance as good news.
After Grab merged with Uber earlier this year, riders have complained about Grab’s dominance in the market and rising fare costs. While there are other ride-hailing companies now in Singapore like Ryde and Kardi, none are currently big enough to challenge Grab directly.
The news comes after the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore found Grab and Uber guilty of violating the Competition Act for merging back in March. The companies were fined a total of $13 million. The consumer watchdog also set out guidelines to make sure the ride-hailing market in Singapore remains competitive, such as Grab doing away with any exclusivity arrangements with its drivers.
While Grab has maintained that the ride-hailing market in Singapore is still competitive despite the company holding 80% market share, the scale will definitely be more balanced once Go-Jek officially launches in Singapore soon.
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