Indonesian unicorn Go-Jek will try to penetrate the Philippine market again after reports claimed that one of the country’s oldest conglomerates Ayala Corporation will partner with the ride-hailing giant.
Details are currently scarce about the impending deal. Ayala is reportedly in talks with the Indonesian company to cruise the gridlocked streets of Manila and to contend with the sole ride-hailing firm in the country – Grab, according to unnamed people involved in the discussion.
If the deal pushes through, it will be the latest technology play for Ayala, after it bought a stake in Zalora’s local unit and subsequently put up a logistics platform Entrego.
Go-Jek previously hit a roadblock when regulators in the Philippines have rejected Go-Jek’s bid to enter the market citing that the company violated foreign ownership regulations. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s accreditation committee denied an application from Velox Technology Philippines — Go-Jek’s local affiliate — to start a transport network company that will challenge Singapore-based Grab.
However, the setback may only be temporary as the firm, whose backers include Alphabet Inc’s Google, could appeal the decision or team up with Filipino investors.
“Go-Jek can get a local partner that will own at least 60% of the ride-hailing entity to comply with the law,” said January Sabale, head of communications at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
According to the country’s laws, foreigners can own only up to 40% of public utilities. According to some reports, Go-Jek owns 99% of Velox through a Singaporean subsidiary.
Go-Jek has a valuation of over USD 1 billion and currently operates in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.