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Go-S starts the services in Thailand, says Philippine launch of ‘fairly quickly’: CEO

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Indonesia’s Go-S is started with the services in Thailand and has been working in the direction of the enter of the Philippines, founder and chief executive Nadiem Makarim said on Wednesday, as the ride-hailing company continues to up its game against the regional leader Grab.

FILE PHOTO: A Go-S-logo is displayed in the company’s office in Singapore, Nov. 29, 2018. REUTERS/Anshuman Daga/File Photo

Go-S, is a pun on the Indonesian word for motor-taxis, launched in Thailand under the brand and the construction of presence in the Philippines by a recent fintech acquisition, Makarim said.

The launch comes as Go-S and Grab to raise billions of dollars and invest aggressively to secure market share in Southeast Asia, as more of the region’s 640 million consumers turn to smartphones for commuting, shopping and pay.

Earlier this month, sources told Reuters that the Go-S was valued at $10 billion after raising more than $1 billion in a financing round led Tencent Holdings Ltd, JD.com Inc. and Alphabet, Inc.’ s Google.

But Go-S ago a setback for the regional expansion last month, when the application to start services in the Philippines was rejected on grounds that the national unit does not comply with the local participation criteria.

Go S then announced the purchase of Philippine fintech company Coins.ph. The Indonesian firm was drawn by Munten.de the ph of the e-wallet services and supplies, as well as the 5 million users, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

On Wednesday, Makarim said the acquisition meant the Go-S was started to develop a presence in the Philippines.

“We are there, we just have our mobility services launched yet,” he told reporters. “I can’t give you a company (start) date, but know Go-S, it is usually pretty quick.”

Launched In 2011 in Jakarta, Go-S has developed a ride-hailing service to be a one-stop app that allows users to order and make online payments for products and services as varied as food and massages.

The company started operations in Vietnam in September, and began trials in Singapore and Thailand at the end of last year.

In Thailand, Go-S offers motorcycle taxis, food and delivery of services. Pinya Nittayakasetwat, chief executive of the Thai subsidiary, said Go-S will offer payment services “soon.”

Co-founder Kewin Aluwi in January said Go-S was the evaluation of other South-east Asian markets, including Malaysia. On Wednesday, Makarim declined to comment on the question or Go-S planned to enter countries surrounding Thailand, such as Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Writing by Fanny Potkin; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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