Grab Battles Go-Jek, Invests $250M In Startups

Grab announced that it plans to invest $250 million in Indonesian startups over the next three years through its new innovation arm.

Earlier this month, the Singapore-based firm revealed that it had raised $2 billion in funding in recent months, and added in the announcement that it will use a significant portion of the proceeds to continue investing in Indonesia. One way to do that is through its Grab Ventures arm, which will develop technology startups in sectors beyond ride-hailing.

Grab has more than 7.1 million micro-entrepreneurs on its platform, more than half of whom reside in Indonesia.

“We are looking at startups in both series A and B, which we could integrate into our ecosystem,” Ridzki Kramadibrata, managing director for Grab Indonesia, told Reuters.

Kramadibrata added that the company has already begun looking at startups and will begin funding rounds later this year, with a specific interest in healthcare and food and grocery delivery startups, as well as those that enable digital payments and automated processes.

Grab’s chief rival, Go-Jek, has already moved beyond ride-hailing to offer its Indonesian clients the ability to make online payments and order everything from food and groceries to massages. The company is also looking to expand in Southeast Asia to Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore.

But Kramadibrata is confident that Grab can maintain its foothold in Indonesia as the top ride-hailing player in the region.

“We hold 65 percent of (Indonesia’s) ride-hailing market, as based on total rides and transactions,” said Kramadibrata. “And it won’t stop there – our market share is increasing.”

In June, Grab rolled out a suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) called GrabPlatform, designed to help developers integrate their services within the company’s app and allowing them to leverage Grab’s user base along with its distribution channels.

“GrabPlatform amplifies economic value for all of Southeast Asia, even more than what we could ever create by ourselves,” Grab CEO and Co-founder Anthony Tan said.