Go-Jek’s beta app to launch in S’pore before Christmas
SINGAPORE — Ride-hailing firm Go-Jek is expected to deliver an early Christmas present to Singapore, as it confirmed on Wednesday (Nov 14) that selected commuters will be able to start booking rides with its beta application before year-end.
SINGAPORE — Ride-hailing firm Go-Jek is expected to deliver an early Christmas present to Singapore, as it confirmed on Wednesday (Nov 14) that selected commuters will be able to start booking rides with its beta mobile application before year-end.
While its president Andre Soelistyo was coy about Go-Jek’s entry date into the Singapore market during a fireside chat at the Singapore Fintech Festival, he said that commuters will have more choices “soon”, drawing laughter and applause from the audience.
When pressed by reporters after the session, he would only confirm that the beta app will be launched in Singapore before Christmas.
The Go-Jek chief admitted during Wednesday’s chat that he is a “little bit scared” of its much-anticipated launch here because there is “a lot of demand”. He later clarified with reporters that he meant to say he was “excited” about the upcoming event.
Ahead of its entry into a ride-hailing market dominated by Singapore-based firm Grab, Go-Jek made its first moves on Oct 29 to recruit drivers by launching a portal for them to pre-register to use its platform.
During the beta-testing service period, the firm will be encouraging feedback on the app, and “optimising our operations to better satisfy customers”, Go-Jek said in an email statement.
Earlier this week, the Indonesia-based company announced that it was teaming up with DBS Bank in Singapore to offer payment services when its beta app launches in the city-state “within the coming weeks”.
On the partnership with DBS, Mr Soelistyo said the aim is to reduce inconveniences that drivers may face in getting paid. For instance, they will work on innovations in the “small stuff” such as allowing drivers to claim their money instantaneously, which will keep commuters and drivers happy, he added.
Singapore is part of the ride-hailing giant’s bigger plan for South-east Asia, as Go-Jek said in May that it will invest US$500 million (S$671 million) in its international expansion strategy to enter markets in the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in the next few months. It also recently raised US$1.5 billion in funding, and its investors include Google, Temasek, Chinese conglomerate Tencent and Meituan Dianping, a China-based online food delivery-to-ticketing services platform.
When asked by the chat moderator about his expansion plans for the region, Mr Soelistyo said that unlike in Indonesia where the company has been growing for the past three-and-a-half years, it is starting from “ground zero” when building operations in the rest of South-east Asia, having kicked off the plans just this year.
Go-Jek first ventured into Vietnam in September, with Singapore and Thailand next on the list.
However, Mr Soelistyo stressed that the company's approach will stay the same, as it looks to create solutions to meet the daily needs of consumers.
“The name of the game is really understanding the consumer, plotting their journey, finding the ‘a-ha’ moments, and building a long-term engagement model so that they are much more active and retentive,” he added.