SINGAPORE — Indonesia's Gojek has hired Ogilvy to oversee PR and social media as it takes on market leader Grab by launching in Singapore this week.

The ride-hailing app has begun rolling out a beta version of its service in Singapore, part of a $500m international expansion drive that also includes Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.

Gojek's Singapore launch comes after Grab acquired Uber's Southeast Asian operations earlier this year. The Indonesian company is also understood to be eyeing other markets for launch in 2019. 

"We couldn’t be more energized by this new partnership with Gojek Singapore, as the company — one of Southeast Asia’s most fascinating tech businesses — arrives on these shores as part of its international expansion," said Emily Poon, managing partner at Ogilvy Singapore.

Poon added that Ogilvy will develop an integrated communications campaign for Gojek in Singapore, "that will bring the brand's unique story, and most importantly, very competitive ridehailing offering to Singapore's commuters."

Gojek shareholders include Google, Tencent Holdings and Singapore's Temasek Holdings. Archrival Grab claims 125 million app downloads to Gojek's 108 million.