The Lion City gold Uber left behind
News has hit the airwaves of Go-Jek partnering with none other than ComfortDelgro, the incumbent taxi company that suffered for a time under the pressure of ride hailing services startups like Grab and Uber.
Uber struck what seemed like a seismic blow to Grab, by partnering with Comfort and incorporating their 13,000 plus taxis into their ecosystem only so far back as January under UberFlash. The only problem was, the game extended beyond ride hailing services; and as I have blogged before, that revealed Uber's Achilles Heal, and they have paid dearly for it.
That being said, one thing is for certain... Due to the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS), Grab never had the chance of picking up that plum partnership that Uber left on the floor. They already have partnerships with the remaining independent taxi companies, under their JustGrab service offering. It means that if Go-Jek's deal goes through, it will enter Singapore with a fleet of well-respected and recognisable cars to begin their battle to beat out Grab. Over 13,000 taxis is a pretty good foothold to start with, certainly better than the one Grab had against Uber.
What will be a key differentiator from Comfort's perspective, is the fact that Go-Jek is already an ecosystem enabled by the anchor of GoPay, their e-wallet. We are yet to see what this means for us everyday people trying to get to work (for $1-$2 with the promo-codes that are bound to fly) once Go-Jek makes its entry official.