With the announcement of Go-Jek making its services available to all consumers across Singapore, the ride-hailing scene in the island country have become hot as this Indonesian unicorn aims to take on the market leader Grab.
It has already lured customers as the first-time riders will receive two SGD5 vouchers which they can use for two rides within two weeks of signing up, the company added.
Go-Jek had made its services available to all DBS/POSB customers islandwide on January 2. However, it made an entry into Singapore on November 29 itself which covered half of the island including the Central Business District, Jurong East, Changi, Punggol, Ang Mo Kio and Sentosa.
Customers in Singapore have already been affected by the dominance of Grab in the ride-hailing market as they have to shell out more money in surge pricing. At times, Grab fares can almost be double of Go-Jek.
However, Grab justified the high surges in its blog post that its main priority is to allocate a ride to its users as fast as possible.
When there are more people booking than the number of drivers available in an area — eg. during peak hours, rainy weather, or in more secluded places — fares “surge” or go up to encourage more drivers to head to you.
Meanwhile, Go-Jek seeks to further fine-tune its app and user experience based on feedback received from the increased number of driver-partners and riders who will use Go-Jek across the island.
Owing to feedback from riders and drivers, Go-Jek said it has enhanced its routing system for more accurate and quicker routes, and to improve riders' waiting time.
A heatmap showing areas with higher demand has been added to help drivers pick up more riders and complete more trips.
Go-Jek is in the middle a major expansion plan beyond its Indonesian base with a focus on Southeast Asia, and has recently introduced services in Vietnam and Thailand.
Grab has dominated the ride-hailing market of Singapore since it acquired Uber’s Southeast Asian business in March last year. In return, Uber received a 27.5 per cent stake in Grab.
However, Singapore's anti-monopoly watchdog fined both Grab and Uber a total of SGD13 million (USD9.61 million) for breaking competition rules during the merger, saying that the deal has led to the substantial eroding of competition in the ride-hailing market.
Go-Jek is one of Southeast Asia’s unicorn startups and has won financial backing from investors including Google, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Chinese internet giant Tencent. Go-Jek was last valued at USD5 billion (SGD6.76 billion).
Grab is reportedly valued at USD10 billion (SGD13.53 billion)
Southeast Asia's ride-hailing market is expected to reach USD20 billion (SGD27.05 billion) by 2025, according to research by Google and Temasek.