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Did You Know? Ride-sharing Decacorns . . .

While you have probably seen lots of press regarding challenges for some high-profile companies in the current economic climate, there is a less publicised global corporate revolution going on just below the horizon. 2018 was, to some, the year of the “Unicorn” – start-ups with a market capitalisation of greater than US$1 billion. In fact, in 2018 no less than 38 Unicorns went public, and as of January 2019 there were more than 300 Unicorn organisations world-wide.

As astounding as that seems, there is an even more influential group of companies emerging. Dubbed “Decacorns”, these are a group of start-ups who have achieved previously staggering market capitalisation of greater than US$10 billion. There are around 20 Decacorns in 2019, and while it is to be expected that a large number are US-based, what might be surprising is the diversity of the nationalities and industries represented.

Some of the Decacorns are household names globally – Airbnb, SpaceX, Epic Games, Wish and DJI Innovations are recognised by most as tech giants.

But the emerging ride-sharing culture looks to be a sector generating a lot of heat in this group. Some are expected players – Uber (with a capitalisation of around US$70B) and it’s major international competitor, Lyft (around US$12B), make the list of course, but so does Didi Chuxing (around US$55B) from China, and one of the latest, Indonesia’s Go-Jek (at around US$10B).

Already one of four Indonesian start-ups values at over US$1B last year (along with Tokopedia, Traveloka and Bukalapak), the Chairman of the Indonesian E-Commerce Association (idEA), Mr Ignatius Untung, recently announced that Go-Jek had become a Decacorn after receiving capital injections from a number of companies, including giants Google and Tencent Holdings, and the latest from diversified business group PT Astra International.

Go-Jek is typical of players in this space, experiencing massive growth in the transportation network and logistics spaces, and quickly diversifying. It now encompasses Indonesia’s 4th largest e-wallet service, transacting 30% of Indonesia’s e-money transactions by 2017, as well as food delivery, courier services, event ticketing and more. As well as this vertical diversification, Go-Jek has expanded geographically, announcing in 2018 that it will be investing $500 million in its international expansion strategy to Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines, starting with ride-hailing, then further replicating the multiple-service business model in Indonesia.

These are not just computer-driven tech companies either. Go-Jek employs over 3000 staff in its three Jakarta-based headquarters, and boasts over 1 million drivers, merchants and professionals across its range of services.

It seems that the ride-sharing economy is here to stay, and is making significant waves in the global business world. With over 140 players already in this space globally (from Aber all the way to Zum) and more ramping up every day, nothing seems to suggest that this is going to change anytime soon.

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