Singapore‘s success story Grab has launched an open platform strategy in its bid to become a super app in the region. The business announced it was opening its platform up to partners, which would allow it to surface a range of lifestyle needs and content to users, becoming a one-stop-shop for everyday needs and information.

Grab will Soon Deliver Groceries Too

Among the first of those partners is Indonesian grocery-delivery startup HappyFresh. It’s joining hands with Grab to launch GrabFresh, a new on-demand grocery-delivery service within the main Grab app. New services should help Grab hit a $1 billion in revenue for the first time this year, Chief Executive Officer Anthony Tan said in an interview with Bloomberg.

GrabPlatform represents the company’s second expansion move since its acquisition of Uber’s business in the region. It follows the launch of its incubator arm Grab Ventures last month.

Grab has several platforms in different markets, and other than their flagship ride-hailing services, they also have food delivery, e-commerce, mobile payment and more. The revamp will combine all these aspects together into a centralised app where users will be able to access all of Grab’s services more conveniently. Open the app and you will be greeted with an overview of the services available. Your Grab wallet can also be seen at the top of the screen. Based on your location, the look of the app will be personalised.

Grab seeks to expand to new industries (Credit: Vulcan Post)

“Our goal is for one Southeast Asian app to offer all the daily essentials you need, anytime you need it, and even before you know you need it,” said Jerald Singh, Head of Product at Grab.

Grab will be seeking to emulate the success Tencent has had with its WeChat app in China. To do so, it will have to fend off stiff competition from rivals Go-Jek in ride-hailing and Redmart in grocery deliveries. Tan, however, doesn’t seem to be too concerned with competition from outsiders as the Southeast Asian market is very unique and different. The geography and demographics of Southeast Asia encompasses multiple different countries practicing various religions and speaking many languages. Only by understanding and localizing enough one could get a hang of the markets in the region, Tan believes.

Continued Growth for Grab in the Coming Months

“We are already profitable in some of our markets and especially the more mature ones [and] we are in a position to continue investing into growth,” Tan explained. There’s a “strong path to profitability but we’ve made an active decision to continue growing because we know that there’s so much potential there.”

Mixed Feelings of Grab’s Expansion into GrabFresh on the Consumer Front

Sentiments towards the launch of GrabFresh (Credits: Loh Hui Peng and Douglas Pa Pa)

One Facebook user, Loh Hui Peng, hopes that Grab focuses on it core product — its ride-hailing feature as she “rather wait for cab at taxi stand now”. Another facebook user, Douglas seems excited about Grab’s expansion into other verticals.

Grab Partners with Yahoo and Oath to Give Consumer Content

Alongside HappyFresh, Yahoo and Oath were also announced as a launch partners, powering news content on the app in Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines.

“Yahoo is delighted to partner with Grab across Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia as they re-imagine their home screen experience for these markets. With a deep understanding of users in the region, Grab has consistently innovated to give customers exactly what they want,” said Rico Chan, Managing Director, Oath INSEA, Hong Kong and Japan.

What do you think about the ride hailing app breaking into new verticals? Leave your comments in the box below?

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