Knives at the ready in Indonesia

As the race between Grab and its unicorn rivals hots up, Indonesia’s regulators must make the route to an IPO easier for issuers and rules more transparent for investors if they want to give home-grown talent a boost.

The dinner knives and forks are officially out. 

“In 2019, our focus is on Indonesia,” Grab’s co-founder Tan Hooi Ling said on December 11, officially announcing the app-based ride hailing company’s plan to offer food delivery and travel services and capture millions of smartphone users onto its burgeoning platform.

Grab has effectively declared war on Indonesia’s home-grown unicorns Go-Food and Traveloka, having already gone head-to-head with banner Indonesian brand Go-Jek which owns Go-Food with demonstrable success.

To win in this market, scale is everything. A successful platform requires large volumes of active and relatively wealthy users and plenty of core services to keep...

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