KrASIA Weekly: Grab and Go-Jek in the spotlight

Hi there, it’s Mars from the Philippines. Online news sites were abuzz with ride-hailing stories this week, with, of course, Southeast Asia’s leading players Grab and Go-Jek taking the spo

Photo credit: KrAsia

Hi there, it’s Mars from the Philippines.

Online news sites were abuzz with ride-hailing stories this week, with, of course, Southeast Asia’s leading players Grab and Go-Jek taking the spotlight, although in totally different manners. Grab, which lost a court battle in Vietnam last week, announced that its Series H financing round has exceeded its end-2018 US$3-billion target following Tokyo Century’s capital infusion.

On the other hand, and in a not so positive development, Indonesia’s ride-hailing giant, Go-Jek, which is said to be investing hundreds of millions of dollars in JD.ID, faced a roadblock in its Southeast Asia expansion plan after Philippine transport regulator Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board denied its entry into the Philippine market. The reason? Go-Jek’s local subsidiary, Velox Technology Philippines, is 99.99% owned by Singaporean firm Velox South-East Asia Holdings, a violation of the foreign ownership rules in the Philippines.

Indonesia’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology Rudiantara immediately jumped into the picture by saying he will try to mediate to reverse the decision of the Philippine regulator through a bargaining offer: allow Go-Jek’s entry into the Philippines in exchange of the entry of Philippine proptech unicorn Revolution Precrafted into the Indonesian market. His Philippine counterpart has not issued a statement as of this posting.

And while the two Southeast Asian ride-hailing giants were at the center stage this week, KrASIA published a story on new and existing players in the region’s ride-hailing space, proof that Grab and Go-Jek’s dominance is not deterring young upstarts from attempting to stake their own claims in the rapidly growing market. After all, latest data showed there is enough space for everyone in the region.

Here are some of the stories that you might have missed this week:

Exclusive
Indonesia’s Akulaku to raise $100m Series D from investors including Alibaba’s Ant Financial

Southeast Asia
Vietnam ride-hailing firm FastGo lands in Myanmar
ATM Capital Tony Qu Tian: SEA startup valuation could grow faster than their Chinese peers’
As Vietnam’s F&B industry grows, restaurant sourcing platform KAMEREO raises funds and eyes expansion
East Ventures appoints its first female partner
Indonesia’s KinerjaPay gets US$200 million investment deal from local conglomerate
Fewer deals but more mega-rounds, signs of a maturing health tech landscape in APAC
Ofo accrues debt and displeasure in Singapore
Credit Culture founder Edmund Sim: Singapore about to see tech-driven loan boom
Go-Jek extends ride-hailing services to all Singapore consumers
Indonesian P2P lending transactions hit $1.4 billion in 2018
Tokopedia makes former Central Bank chief head of advisory board

China
Meituan breaks own record with 2m hotel room nights booked on one day
2018: a boom year for Chinese apps in India

Feature
What to expect from Indonesia’s startup landscape in 2019
The 9-year journey of Bukalapak: Growing beyond e-commerce
Fewer deals but more mega-rounds, signs of a maturing health tech landscape in APAC