- Business Insider/ Jonathan Loh
Singapore-based startup Grab has plans to muscle in further on competitor Go Jek’s home turf.
The ride-hailing firm announced on Monday (July 29) that it will a set up a second headquarters in Jakarta, which will be the head office for its food delivery arm – GrabFood – and house a “rapidly growing” R&D centre already located in the capital.
The second HQ will develop new services that the company can then introduce to its operations in other South-east Asian countries, Grab said.
Indonesia is the start-up’s largest market. Ridzki Kramadibrata – president of Grab Indonesia – called the start-up “an Indonesia-focused company”.
In a statement, Grab said it plans to hire thousands of Indonesians for its new HQ, and work with local universities to upskill tech talent.
It also plans to launch a new healthcare service in Indonesia within the next three months, to give users better access to doctors and medical services.
Among ride-hailing apps in South-east Asia, on-demand services were pioneered by Indonesia’s first unicorn, Go-Jek – which offered courier and delivery options early on in its business.
Grab has also begun to roll out more services in its app, like pet transport, movie streaming, cinema tickets and hotel bookings, in recent years.
The company said its upcoming Jakarta HQ demonstrated its “long-term commitment to Indonesia”, adding that it planned to invest an additional US$2 billion into the country using the capital it obtained from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.
This is on top of the US$1 billion it has already invested in Indonesia since 2017.
These new funds will go towards geo-mapping, and creating a greener transport network for the country centered around electric vehicles.
Grab is also looking to invest in local start-ups, with the aim of doubling the number of micro-entrepreneurs in the country to 10 million in five years.
Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son said that he was “very happy” to invest US$2 billion in Indonesia, adding that the country’s tech sector had “huge potential”.