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Go-Jek adds new markets to 2019 Southeast Asia expansion plan

IPO in 'next 3 to 5 years,' says president of Indonesian ride-hailing company

Go-Jek President Andre Soelistyo during an interview in Singapore on Nov. 29 (Photo by Kentaro Iwamoto)

SINGAPORE -- Ride-hailing operator Go-Jek plans to enter multiple Southeast Asian markets in 2019, including ones not stated in the company's expansion plan revealed earlier this year, according to President Andre Soelistyo.

Though not disclosed by the president, likely new destinations for the Indonesian company include Malaysia, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Go-Jek had remained in its home market until May, when it announced a $500 million overseas expansion plan targeting Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

In an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review and other media on Nov. 29 in Singapore, Soelistyo said that Go-Jek's expansion into markets other than the four specifically named "is happening in 2019."

Go-Jek launched operations in Vietnam in September through a local partner. On Nov. 29, it released a beta version of its app in Singapore, targeting a limited number of consumers to iron out any bugs before a full launch expected in early 2019.

Soelistyo said the company will test another beta version in Thailand sometime in December, hinting at a full rollout in early 2019.

As for the Philippines, the president said the country was "definitely on the radar," but did not release details.

Go-Jek shareholders include Google, Tencent Holdings and Singapore's Temasek Holdings. Regarding plans for going public, Soelistyo said the company is "obviously preparing to get there ... maybe in the next three to five years."

Singapore-based Grab announced in March a merger with Uber Technologies, making it the dominant player in most regional markets. Grab currently operates in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Go-Jek's further push into the region will pit it head-to-head against archrival Grab, which claims 125 million app downloads to Go-Jek's 108 million.

Both companies have expanded beyond ride-hailing, and now offer services such as mobile payment and food delivery.

Soelistyo did not elaborate on whether the company will increase investment for overseas expansion, saying that "I'm not sure because we just started." He also said Go-Jek will continue to focus on Southeast Asia.

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