If tech companies went head-to-head like a UFC fight, Grab vs Gojek would undoubtedly be the headline heavyweight event. The two tech unicorns (and potentially public companies) are one of Asia’s most prominent rivals.
They compete in pretty much the same space: both started out as ride-hailing companies and eventually branched out into payments, food delivery and other services.
Grab and GoJek's respective co-founders – Anthony Tan and Nadiem Makarim – were even classmates at Harvard. And after GoJek spurned Grab to merge with Tokopedia, the race to dominate Southeast Asia is only heating up.
Who will come out on top is a difficult question to answer. A more simple one would be: which is the better company to work for in 2021?
To answer this question, we ranked the companies across eight main factors:
The winner for each factor gets one point. The loser gets zero. If it’s a draw, both get a point.
If you want us to get to the point so you can get a head start on your job application, here’s the short answer: Grab wins by a razor thin 5-4 margin.
To understand how we came to this conclusion, read on!
Grab has an average Glassdoor rating of 3.9 based on 1493 ratings. GoJek’s average is 4.3, based on 540 ratings, making it the clear winner here. Note that both companies are still above the 50th percentile based on the "bell-curve" which is definitely a welcoming sign.
Both companies have a fairly even distribution, with the bulk of the tech team in Singapore composed of senior talents with 5 to 10 years of experience.
If you are junior talent, you will appreciate being surrounded with experienced talents who are much more senior than you. Why? Because they can guide you early in your career! If you are a senior talent looking to rise up the ranks, bear in mind that you are competing with many others who are as senior as you.
It is difficult to conclude a winner here as having a more senior team can be a double edge sword depending on the stage of your career. We will leave it a draw.
Based on the number of years a person stays within the current company, they are split into the 5 segments as shown above. While the data above only reflects Grab and GoJek's current team and does not reflect past employees, it can offer some interpretations.
One way to interpret is to look at the proportion of people with less than one year of experience. At Grab, this represents 36% (248/694) of the tech team. In GoJek, it is 18% (18/100). One potentially shocking statistic is that you are 2x more likely to leave Grab than GoJek in your first year.
Another way to look at it is that Grab is rapidly hiring, with 36% of Grab's headcount hired within this 1 year. Is it to fill up the gaps from attrition? Or is it purely expansionary? More on headcount growth below.
For this, we are safely going with GoJek.
Since this article only looks at comparing the Singapore tech team size between the two companies, Grab wins this round handily, with a much larger team of 694 headcount compared to GoJek's 100.
Grab wins this round convincingly. 13% of its engineers are female, almost double that of GoJek. That said, both companies have some way to go in terms of raising the participation of women into tech, but that’s a topic for another article.
First things first, the data on NodeFlair Insights only reflects title changes amongst the tech team. While this may mean a change of role or function, most title changes do directly correlate to a promotion.
Grab wins this round with a wide margin again, with 35% of its talents receiving promotions compared to 21% at GoJek. This indicates that there are greater opportunities for tech talents to advance through the ranks within Grab.
Grab and GoJek both raised very respectable amounts of funding, making them the decacorns (>10B valuation) of the region. It is difficult to assess the specificity of their valuations since it is not fully public.
However, Grab is seeking a US$40 billion valuation in their upcoming IPO. This would make them a bigger company. But after GoJek merged with Tokopedia to form GoTo, the group is also targeting the same valuation for their own IPO.
So Grab takes this round, with the caveat that the GoTo will bring a lot more firepower in the near future.
The tech team makes up 4% of the total headcount in both companies. However, Grab’s tech headcount took a dip about six months ago. It has since rebounded, to their headcount level a year ago.
Meanwhile, GoJek has been steadily increasing its headcount, from 722 a year ago to 845 today. This round goes to them.
Tallying up the total score, Grab edges out GoJek with a 5-4 score.
Have another pair of companies you want to look up? Check out NodeFlair Insights, which lets you search and compare company insights on the same factors we just covered.
If you'd prefer a deeper dive into each company individually on salaries, jobs, and insights, you can check out their full company profiles:
Join the smarter way. Discover real salary data backed by payslips and offer letters.
Join our growing community of 800+ tech talents who have already submitted their salary data. Put an end to the opaqueness here in Singapore and bring the power back to yourself!
Follow us on Telegram (@nodeflairsg) for the latest Tech Insight, Reads, Salaries & Job Opportunities!