Grab Says Delivery Demand Stable After COVID


Singapore-based super app Grab said it has seen a steady demand for deliveries, even as Southeast Asia eases its COVID-19 restrictions.

As the company said in its first-quarter earnings report Thursday (May 19), it believes this demand will remain stable even as that part of the world shifts into a post-pandemic way of life.

“Longer term, we plan to expand our deliveries segment into underpenetrated outer cities and towns in most of our markets to tap growth opportunities there,” Grab said. “During the quarter, we began to integrate Jaya Grocer stores onto our groceries marketplace in Malaysia and plan to complete the integration in the second half of 2022.”

Overall, the company reported a gross merchandise value of $4.8 billion, a 32% year-over-year increase, and revenue of $228 million, up 6% from this time last year.

Earlier this year, PYMNTS reported that Grab had begun to offer higher incentives to attract drivers, which – along with expenses related to its 2021 initial public offering – cut into the company’s earnings.

Read more: IPO Overhead, Driver Incentives Take Bite Out of Grab’s Earnings

The company added that it is optimistic that its mobility supply will stabilize in the second half of the year and that mobility driver incentives as a percentage of gross merchandise volume (GMV) will taper off during that time.

“We exited the first quarter with mobility GMV on the rebound on a sequential basis,” the report said. “Our active driver base, the majority of which complete both deliveries and mobility jobs, increased in the quarter, but was still below pre-Covid levels.”

During March, Grab said its base of active drivers was 76% of December 2019 levels. The company said it would keep building that base to capture the demand it is seeing. The report added that Grab is keeping an eye on the impact of fuel inflation on its drivers’ earnings, and will find ways to help them offset that cost.

See also: Toss, GoTo Compete With Grab for Super App Supremacy in SE Asia

PYMNTS noted recently that the company is facing competition in the Southeast Asian super app space from firms such as Toss and GoTo.