Entrepreneur

Grab Invests US$500M Into Vietnam - Aims To Provide Jobs, Support Tech Ecosystem

[Update 28 August 2019]

Grab released more details about its investment in Vietnam today (28 August 2019).

The ride-hailing firm announced will invest US$500 million in Vietnam over a period of five years.

With this, they will launch new services, expand their transport, food and payments network, and explore “opportunities in fintech, new mobility solutions and logistics”.

Grab aims for this to spur the development of the country’s digital economy and “create millions of income-opportunities” for locals.

So far, Grab has been performing strongly in Vietnam since entering the market in 2014.

Their driver-partners have reached accumulated earnings of US$1 billion, while food delivery-partners are serving an average of 300,000 orders daily in 2019.

Grab’s digital wallet in partnership with fintech firm Moca has also encouraged millions of Vietnamese users to adopt cashless payments.

By the end of 2019, the firm will have already invested “more than US$200 million into the country”, said Grab Vietnam Country Head Jerry Lim.

He added that their further investment announced today will accelerate their efforts to “elevate the quality of life for millions of Vietnamese people”.

Grab is also aligning their plans with the Vietnamese government’s ‘Socio-Economic Development Plan 2020’.

To contribute to the country’s economic, social and environmental targets, Grab announced a ‘Tech For Good’ development roadmap, comprising three main areas:

  • Lifting communities from poverty: Grab will empower millions of Vietnamese nationwide with the means to earn their own living as driver-partners, delivery-partners and merchant-partners. They will also partner financial institutions to provide services for micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses.
  • Building tomorrow’s skilled workforce today: Growing their headcount with Vietnamese tech talents, and launching the flagship GrabVentures programme to support Vietnam’s tech startup ecosystem.
  • Creating an environmentally sustainable future: Grab will help shift users from private vehicle ownership to shared transport modes such as GrabBus, a marketplace for bus travel. They will also work to reduce pollution, for example lessening plastic waste in the GrabFood service.

Grab today made an open call for public and private sector stakeholders to partner their Tech For Good initiative.

Grab is planning to pump in a huge investment of “several hundred million dollars” into Vietnam, which the ride-hailing firm recognises as their next important growth market.

This comes just a month after they announced their US$2 billion plans for Indonesia, focusing on digitising crucial services and infrastructure in the country.

Once again, Grab is wasting no time to make use of its funds raised from investors.

However, they haven’t revealed any specific details as to how the investment will be used to propel their Vietnam operations.

Grab president Ming Maa announces several hundred million investment into Vietnam
Grab President Ming Maa / Image Credit: Reuters

Grab President Ming Maa told Reuters, “We’re very excited about Vietnam. We see very similar characteristics to Indonesia.”

One main similarity is in how commonly the middle class and young consumers in both markets are using apps and websites to access services, he said.

Among competitors which include Indonesian firm Gojek and Vietnam’s own local app Be, Grab was the most downloaded ride-hailing app in Vietnam between January and July 2019, according to App Annie.

Maa also shared that Vietnam comes in third or fourth among Grab’s top markets.

This puts Vietnam close behind Singapore and Indonesia, Grab’s second largest and largest markets respectively.

Powering Up Its Financial Services

Last year, Grab partnered with Vietnamese fintech firm Moca to launch their cashless payment service through the GrabPay by Moca e-wallet.

Financial services will likely be a key area of focus for Grab for the coming years, as Maa says they are “just at the tip of the iceberg” at this point.

Through GrabPay, the company has gleaned valuable data insight about its customers and drivers, and they seek to turn this data into the creation of financial products like insurance, credit, and wealth solutions.

Maa also essentially confirmed Grab’s interest in taking up a digital bank license in Singapore, which was previously based on tip-offs from unnamed sources.

We can expect to find out more and watch how this progresses when the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) soon releases detailed guidelines to interested firms in coming weeks.

Featured Image Credit: PYMNTS

 

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