Grab's third quarter group revenue reportedly rose to over 95% of pre-COVID-19 levels. According to president Ming Maa in a newsletter update, Grab's business recovery is continuing at a steady pace and the company's food business now rakes in over 50% of its revenue. He added that this trend reflects a spike in demand for food delivery in the new normal.
Having laid this foundation, Grab will focus on expanding its financial services and merchant services business through the rest of the year and beyond. He added that the company will also work with governments to bring digital tools to MSMEs struggling through the pandemic, and drive greater digital inclusion in marginalised and rural communities in order to build a more resilient Southeast Asia.
In August, Grab diversified its Grab Financial Group (GFG) offerings and expanded its consumer ecosystem by introducing its first “invest-from-SG$1” micro investment solution to spur digital payments and financial services adoption in Southeast Asia. Meanwhile in Indonesia and Malaysia, the company collaborated with governments to establish rural connectivity initiatives to help small businesses. It is also assisting micro-merchants to capture more eCommerce opportunities to sell and deliver their products to customers through GrabExpress.
Ming explained that GFG’s entry into retail wealth management builds on the company's success with merchants and driver-partners, where it rolled out SME lending in March 2019 and launched insurance products for its partners. "Since then, our insurance business has grown robustly across Southeast Asia, with more than 20 million insurance policies distributed since April 2019," he added.
When asked how GrabFood is making itself stand out in the competitive food delivery market, Grab's spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that it will continue to build on its wide restaurant selection, create unique and differentiated experiences for its customers, and lead in safety and quality.
On the restaurant front, GrabFood tied up with Michelin in Southeast Asia to bring Michelin-star restaurants onto GrabFood in Singapore and Thailand. It also offers hyperlocal options to bring a piece of the country's unique food heritage to consumers, such as hawkers in Singapore and the Ramadan bazaar vendors in Malaysia.
Additionally, it wants GrabFood to not only be a service that provides good food to customers, but also a platform that offers differentiated experiences to customers that they cannot find anywhere else. For example, using its mix-and-match technology developed for its cloud kitchens, GrabFood customers can order from multiple restaurants located on the same street or shopping mall and have them delivered as a single order to their door. According to the spokesperson, this initiative not only redefines the food delivery experience by giving Grab users more choice and flexibility for every order, but also enables them to save on paying multiple delivery fees. It is currently piloting this concept in Singapore at different shopping malls and popular food destinations such as Telok Ayer, Keong Saik, and Killiney, with plans to expand to other areas, and cities.
Despite its move to adapt during challenging times, the ride-hailing company was not spared from the pandemic. In June, it laid off about 360 of its employees, representing 5% of its workforce. It also wound down some non-core projects, consolidated functions for greater efficiency, and right-sized teams to better match changing business needs. Meanwhile, it doubled down on delivery verticals and redeployed its staff to meet the increased customer demand for deliveries.
That said, the company is currently making efforts to hire across marketing and communications, data and analytics, UX and design, as well as business development and strategy, among others. Last month, it was on the hunt for an individual to lead GrabAds in Malaysia and a regional head of SMB advertising (merchants) for GrabAds.
That said, Grab is still garnering attention from potential investors. Last month, Alibaba Group was reportedly in discussions to invest US$3 billion into Grab. Citing its source, Bloomberg reported that Alibaba is looking to use a portion of the funds to buy over some of the Grab stock held by Uber Technologies. It is added that the deal may represent one of Alibaba’s largest investment on Southeast Asia since Lazada in 2016. During the same month, it also secured US$200 million in funding from South Korean private equity firm STIC Investments.
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