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Grab Holdings Leverages AI in Drive Toward Full-Year Profitability

Grab app

Grab Holdings, the Southeast Asian ride-hailing and delivery specialist, reportedly aims to achieve full-year profitability by focusing on organic growth and investing in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

The company is committed to building new products and capabilities to ramp up growth in the coming years, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oey told The Wall Street Journal in a report published Friday (Feb. 23).

Oey’s comments come a day after Grab reported that it swung to a profit of $11 million in the fourth quarter, an improvement from the $391 million loss it reported a year earlier, according to the report. This marked the company’s first quarterly profit.

As Grab looks toward the future, it plans to invest in initiatives powered by AI to increase efficiency in areas such as marketing, customer service and menu translation, according to the report.

For example, the company recently adopted an AI translation tool for its Help Center articles, signaling a continued focus on leveraging technology for growth, per the report.

“There’s still a long way to go,” Oey said of the company’s ongoing investments in AI.

Grab CEO and Co-founder Anthony Tan highlighted the company’s plans to further leverage generative AI to drive product enhancements during a quarterly earnings call held Thursday (Feb. 22).

“For example, we have now developed our own in-house LLM-powered marketing tool which has enabled us to reduce content generation time from 99 hours to just 90 minutes while raising output quality,” Tan said.

Grab attributed the achievement of its first quarterly profit to an accounting change and cost-cutting measures, including reducing expenses such as employee costs and incentives for drivers and consumers, the WSJreport said.

However, the company saw a recent drop in its market cap following guidance that missed expectations, perthe report.

DBS analysts described Grab’s forecasts for 2024 adjusted Ebitda as “too conservative,” according to the report.

Citi analyst Alicia Yap said the numbers likely indicated the company’s uncertainty about new product initiatives, but also highlighted its leading position in the delivery business and potential for consistent margin expansion, the report said.

HSBC analysts said that news of a potential sale of Foodpanda falling through was good news for Grab because it removed the threat of a new competitor, per the report.