Gojek reapplies to enter PHL mart and challenge Grab’s monopoly

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INDONESIAN ride-hailing start-up Gojek has reapplied to enter the Philippines and face off with Grab Holdings, Inc., which controls about 90% of the market.

Gojek’s filing is under evaluation by the Department of Transportation‘s franchising and review service, Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran said in a mobile-phone message Saturday.

Regulators have rejected Gojek’s application twice this year for breaching the 40% foreign-ownership limit for public transport services, as its local unit Velox Technology Philippines, Inc. was wholly-owned by a Singaporean firm. Velox has since sold a stake and the company is now owned 60% by Filipino company Pace Crimson Ventures Corp., Securities and Exchange Commission documents showed.

Zalora Philippines CEO Paulo Campos, whose father Paulo E. Campos, Jr. is the largest shareholder in Pace Crimson through a 35% stake, said in a mobile-phone message that the online shopping platform partly owned by conglomerate Ayala Corp. “has no involvement in the investment” and “has no connection whatsoever to Gojek or their efforts to enter the Philippine market.”

Ayala Corp. was earlier said to be in talks with Gojek for a partnership. Nikkei, earlier this week, reported Gojek’s fresh application. — Bloomberg