With its mission to create the first everyday super-app in Southeast Asia, Grab has rolled out a suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) for developers dubbed GrabPlatform. The idea is to help developers integrate their services within the company's app and to leverage Grab's user base along with its distribution channels, the company said in an announcement.
“GrabPlatform amplifies economic value for all of Southeast Asia, even more than what we could ever create by ourselves,” Grab CEO & Co-founder Anthony Tan said in the announcement.
With the new version of Grab, the app comes with an updated home screen that includes easier access to payments. It also includes easy navigation to everyday services and a news feed that shows seasonal information and location reviews. In the announcement, Grab also unveiled an on-demand grocery delivery service, dubbed GrabFresh, that is integrated into Southeast Asian grocery delivery provider HappyFresh.
The news comes as Grab, which entered a deal to acquire Uber’s Southeast Asia business in the first quarter, is reaching even farther into the region. The company had said earlier this year that it would launch Grab Ventures, where it would invest in sectors as far-flung as transport and food services, Reuters reported. The firm will look to partner with eight to 10 startups through the next two years and may make direct investments, it was announced at the time.
As noted in this space in past months, Grab is in growth mode, having snagged $1 billion in a fundraising round last year. Earlier this year, the company launched a consumer financing joint venture with Credit Saison, a Japanese consumer financing firm, focused on the unbanked population.
In an interview with CNBC, Tan had said that Grab Ventures represents the firm’s “super innovation arm … investing into the next generation of tech leaders.” The firm has reach in 217 cities across eight countries, he said, with a large land fleet of three million drivers and close to three million agents on the ground.