In 2016, a covert meeting took place in Jakarta, Indonesia. Go-Jek CEO Nadiem Makarim, Grab CEO Anthony Tan and one of then-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s highest-ranking lieutenants in Southeast Asia convened to divide Indonesia’s mobility pie amongst themselves. The country was understandably high-priority for all three companies—it’s Southeast Asia’s largest economy, with a population of 260 million.
At the time, local taxi groups were violently protesting the rise of ride-hailing platforms, which they believed were ruining their livelihood.
Grab & Go
Go-Jek and Grab are turning Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem tribal
If you thought Uber’s exit from SE Asia marked the end of the region’s ride-hailing battle, think again. Post-Uber, Grab and Go-Jek are locked in a battle that has parallels with the way Tencent and Alibaba dominate China’s tech scene
Back in 2016, Uber, Go-Jek and Grab executives met to divide Indonesia’s mobility pie amongst themselves
Cut to 2019, Uber has left the region and Grab is at war with Go-Jek
The battle has moved beyond mobility and Indonesia—it is now for the digital economy of SE Asia
As Grab and Go-Jek seek super app status, it has led to a flurry of deals and partnerships, including with the likes of OYO and BookMyShow