Ride-hailing company Grab, which recently announced a $2 billion expansion plan in Indonesia, said it was going to invest “several hundred million dollars” in Vietnam, according to a report by Reuters.
The company sees the country as its next big growth market, and Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
The move illustrates Grab’s desire to put its investment dollars to work to continue expanding the company worldwide.
“We’re very excited about Vietnam. We see very similar characteristics to Indonesia,” Grab president Ming Maa said.
Both Grab and its rival Gojek are moving away from simply being ride-hailing companies into something more, as both startups now provide food delivery, logistics and hotels and payments in the region.
Grab has upwards of 160 million users through eight countries, and it said it wants to create a next-generation transportation apparatus to completely upend how critical services are administered.
Vietnam and Indonesia are similar in that they both have a large number of young people who increasingly use apps and websites to access services.
“I would expect us to invest over several hundred million dollars into growing our Vietnam business,” Maa said.
Maa joined Grab from a major investor — Japan’s Softbank Group. Before that, he was at Goldman Sachs. In 2018, Grab teamed up with Vietnam FinTech company Moka to introduce a digital wallet. The company also teamed up with Japanese credit card outfit Credit Saison to offer loans and credit insight to small entrepreneurs in SE Asia.
From the months of January to July, Grab was the most downloaded ride-hailing app in Vietnam, according to data from a marketing firm.
Singapore is the company’s second-largest market, and it’s where the company is in the process of building a $135 million headquarters. Grab wants to double its revenue this year to $2 billion.
Grab is also SE Asia’s biggest startup, and it has a valuation of around $14 billion. The company is also hoping that its payments business will help it to grow in the financial services sector.
“We’re just at the tip of the iceberg for financial services,” said Maa.