SINGAPORE: Grab unveiled a grocery delivery service on Tuesday, betting the firm’s extensive network of 7.1 million drivers, agents and merchants will help steer the company as it expands beyond its core ride-hailing business across Southeast Asia.
The strategy to provide “everyday” offerings via a new open platform underscores Grab’s ambition to secure its dominant market share at a time when rival Go-Jek is embarking on a $500 million expansion into markets including Thailand and Singapore.
Go-Jek, the main ride-hailing player in Indonesia that is backed by private-equity firms KKR and Warburg Pincus, has expanded into digital payments, food delivery and on-demand cleaning and massage services.
Grab, which is transforming itself into a consumer technology group, already offers loans, electronic money transfers, payments and food delivery. With the launch of GrabFresh, it will now provide on-demand grocery delivery.
“We believe that as we offer more localized everyday services, there will be more users and higher engagement across the user base,” Anthony Tan, Grab’s 36-year-old co-founder and group CEO, said on Monday ahead of the launch.
“When that happens, it attracts more partners and it’s a virtuous upwards cycle. Great for business,” said Tan, who scored a big win when Uber handed over its regional operations to Grab this year in return for a stake.
For GrabFresh, Grab said it was partnering with a Southeast Asian grocery delivery provider HappyFresh, part of its new open platform strategy where partners can access parts of its technology such as logistics and payments.
“Whether it’s food, whether it’s groceries, we need to make sure that all these are well funded, both technologically and financially,” Tan said at Grab’s new downtown office in Singapore, where boxes of Apple Macbooks were piled up.