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Grab to invest US$250m in Indonesian startups in race against Go-Jek

Grab to invest US$250m in Indonesian startups in race against Go-Jek

A passenger sits next to Grab corner sign as he waits for a Grab bike at Sudirman train station in Jakarta, Indonesia on Mar 26, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Beawiharta)

SINGAPORE: Grab, which holds 65 per cent of Indonesia's ride-hailing market, will invest US$250 million in Indonesian startups over the next three years through its newly launched innovation arm, as it aggressively pushes to cement its position in Southeast Asia's largest economy.

"We hold 65 per cent of (Indonesia's) ride-hailing market, as based on total rides and transactions," its managing director for the country Ridzki Kramadibrata said on Wednesday (Aug 29). "And it won't stop there, our market share is increasing."

He estimates that Grab holds majority market share in 137 cities in Indonesia, compared with the company's rival, Go-Jek, which holds about 50.

Kramadibrata said he based his estimates on internal and third-party data that he declined to reveal.

The Singapore-based firm recently raised US$2 billion in fresh funding to expand in Indonesia, which it has earmarked as a priority market.

READ: How Uber, valued at billions, was sent packing by a start-up in Singapore

Grab said in a statement that its US$250 million investment in Indonesian startups will be done through its Grab Ventures arm, with a focus on firms involved in "mobility, food, logistics, fintech and other O2O (online to offline) challenges". 

"We are looking at startups in both series A and B, which we could integrate into our ecosystem," Kramadibrata told Reuters.

The company, which counts Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Japan's SoftBank Group among its backers, has already starting looking at startups and will start funding rounds later this year, he added.

Go-Jek has evolved from a ride-hailing service to a one-stop app allowing Indonesian clients to make online payments and order everything from food, groceries to massages. It is now looking to expand in Southeast Asia, to Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore.

READ: Indonesia's Go-Jek close to profits in all segments, except transport: CEO

Go-Jek's CEO Nadiem Makarim told Reuters this month that the company's app was a market leader in Indonesia, processing more than 100 million transactions for 20 million to 25 million monthly users.

He did not specify how many of those transactions were only for ride hailing.

Source: Reuters/cy/aa(aj)


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