Beyond ride-hailing: Gojek, Grab and all their friends

Now that Grab and Go-Jek are in a faceoff on a regional scale, here’s a look at how Southeast Asia’s two biggest unicorns – and their investors – could be shaping the local digital economies and startup ecosystems

When Uber decided to sell its Southeast Asia business to local rival Grab March this year, it left the region virtually facing a ride-hailing monopoly. Except in one market: Indonesia, where the home-grown Go-Jek has its grip firmly on the region’s largest and most populous country.  

Indonesia’s first and most valuable unicorn, Go-Jek has since also begun expanding into other Southeast Asian markets. It's said to be valued up to US$10 billion in a coming round of funding, just below Grab’s US$11 billion tag. Both startups are backed by some of the world’s most powerful investors: Tencent, Temasek, Google, Warburg Pincus and KKR in the case of Go-Jek; while SoftBank, Toyota, Microsoft, Didi and Ping An are behind Grab.

And the stakes are no longer in ride-hailing alone. Taking a leaf out of China, Grab and Go-Jek are each building their own super app and online-to-offline (O2O) ecosystem on the back of their transportation network. It's a race to conquer the virgin territory of Southeast

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