Grab invests in electric vehicle fleet, branches into advertising with GrabAds

Photo: Grab

Electric vehicles (EV), advertising and healthcare have little in common, unless you’re talking about Grab.

The Southeast Asian ride-hailing unicorn has been swift to announce partnerships to extend its gamut of services in its quest to become the everyday super app for users in the region.

On Thursday, Grab announced a tie-up with Singapore’s energy utilities provider SP Group to roll out a 200-strong electric vehicle fleet in early 2019. The fleet will leverage SP’s ambitions to build a fast-charging network by 2020, covering 500 public charging points across Singapore. No details, however, were provided on the price of the charging facilities and EV models.

Grab claims the switch to EVs will create cost savings of as much as 25 per cent for its drivers.

“Grab is in a unique position to help drive a cleaner, greener Singapore by encouraging more of our drivers to adopt EVs. Grab operates the largest electric and hybrid vehicle fleet in Southeast Asia today, and we are committed to delivering the benefits from EVs to more of our driver-partners,” said Lim Kell Jay, Head of Grab Singapore.

Earlier this week, Grab also launched GrabAds, adding advertising to its increasingly diverse pack of services.

According to an official statement, GrabAds will help brands build offline and online ads via Grab’s mobile app and its expansive vehicle network. The modes of advertisement range widely – from turning Grab vehicles into moving billboards, to digital displays in these cars, and interactive widgets on Grab’s app.

GrabAds has so far signed on clients including Pepsi, Dove, Shopee, Tokopedia and Bukalapak. In Vietnam, GrabAds has also signed on a number of advertising partners, one of which is DrivAds that will manage its four- and two-wheeler campaigns.

“As our online and offline worlds become one, brands are now more focused than ever in designing and delivering seamless integrated experiences for their customers across multiple channels. GrabAds helps brands tap into our extensive vehicle fleet and increasing digital footprint to reach a wider audience base in Southeast Asia,” said Nasheet Islam, Head of GrabAds, Grab.

Last week, Grab announced a joint venture with Hong Kong’s Ping An Good Doctor, adding healthcare to an increasingly diverse range of services like grocery delivery and news content. This comes on the back of a pile of big money the Southeast Asian unicorn has accumulated in recent months.

In July, Grab clinched an eyebrow-raising $2 billion worth of funds from investors including Toyota Motors, OppenheimerFunds, Ping An Capital and Lightspeed Venture. Although Grab has refrained from providing figures on its valuation, reports have estimated Grab to be worth as much as $11 billion after the funding (post-money).

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.