Hi there, Mars here from the Philippines.
Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing giant Grab and its fiercest competitor Go-Jek continue to dominate our tech news coverage for this week, although the spotlight was more focused on the Indonesian ride-hailing firm, which ended the week with an additional US$1 billion in its coffers, overshadowing Grab’s US$200-million fresh funding from Central Group, Thailand’s largest retail conglomerate.
Go-Jek had finalised the first close of its Series F funding, led by existing investors including Google and Tencent. The announcement confirms KrASIA’s report that the firm was raising funds that would bring the company closer to a status of a decacorn – companies valued more than US$10 billion. With the fresh mega-funding, Go-Jek is expected to further accelerate its expansion in the region, following its entry into Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand. Although it continues to face a roadblock in the Philippines.
With ride-hailing giants Grab and Go-Jek further expanding their footprints in the region, can we expect new startups to operate in this space to challenge the “duopoly”? Probably not, according to Jianggan Li, founder and CEO of Singapore-based venture builder and investment consultant Momentum Works, which we interviewed this week for our VC Series.
This week also saw KrASIA’s exclusive report on the fundraising activity of theAsianparent, the Singaporean online parenting startup similar to China’s Babytree. According to sources, theAsianparent is in talks with investors including Alibaba’s Ant Financial and Chinese conglomerate Fosun for a new funding round at pre-money valuation of US$60 million. Both Alibaba and Fosun have invested in Babytree, which raised US$200 million in Hong Kong IPO last year.
Grab and Go-Jek are likely to continue to dominate the news next week and trust that KrASIA will also be at the forefront to report on the latest development in the region’s ride-hailing space and other sectors that are shaping Southeast Asia’s startup scene. Meanwhile, have meaningful and joyful celebration of the Chinese New Year!
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