The Vietnamese startup Be Group, a rival of ride-hailer platform Grab, said it’s gotten a loan facility of $60 million, a Bloomberg report said Monday (Sept. 5).
The loan, coming from Deutsche Bank, comes with a provision to allow financing to increase to as much as $100 million, according to Be Group CEO Vu Hoang Yen.
The money will be used to expand and enhance the company’s primary services — ride-hailing, food delivery and digital banking.
The ride-hailing sector has been doing well in Vietnam, with more competition from Indonesia’s Go-Jek and FastGo Vietnam as countries have been letting up on COVID-19 lockdowns.
The market could balloon over 28% in the next five years, according to data from research company Mordor Intelligence.
Be Group was initially rolled out in 2018, and has expanded into deliveries, online groceries, insurance, telecom service bundles and financial services.
Grab has been looking to keep up with the rise in food prices globally, while also boosting labor economics by shifting spending to off-hours, incentivizing orders at slow periods through discounts, PYMNTS wrote.
Anthony Tan, Grab CEO and co-founder, said in late August that the company has been working on different delivery times which could give customers a “cheaper delivery fee” for off-peak times.
But the company said the demand for food delivery has declined, a trend expected to continue in the next quarter.
In the U.S., food delivery companies have been looking into driving off-hours ordering, as aggregators are swamped during mealtimes while lulls exist at other times of the day.
The report notes that there have been attempts by various companies to remedy the situation.
The virtual restaurant company Nexbite, for example, is looking at designing menus to appeal to more customers’ off-hour food preferences.
“With IHOP, for example, they’re 24/7 at the majority of their locations, but they’re really busier in the mornings than they are at night,” Nextbite CEO Alex Canter told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster in a May interview. “So, we’ve designed two concepts for them: a grilled cheese concept and a quesadilla brand that is performing exceptionally well from 9 p.m. to 5 in the morning.”