Grab launches grocery delivery service, to cross $1b in revenues this year

HappyFresh CEO Guillem Segarra, Grab co-founder and group CEO Anthony Tan and Grab product head Jerald Singh pose with GrabFresh delivery partners and shoppers. Source: Grab

Grab on Tuesday unveiled its on-demand grocery delivery service GrabFresh as it staked a claim to become the first Southeast Asian company to hit revenues of $1 billion by the end of 2018.

At an event to mark the company’s sixth anniversary, Grab also announced the launch of GrabPlatform to enable seamless integration of third-party services within its app. The platform is a suite of APIs that provide access to components of Grab’s technology including transport, logistics, payments, user authentication, messaging, insights and mapping.

GrabFresh, launched in partnership with Indonesia’s grocery delivery startup HappyFresh, is the first of such services. Other partnerships in the pipeline include Lazada, Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Chubb and Shopee, Grab product head Jerald Singh said.

“Over the past six years, we’ve worked hard to improve our technology and expand our reach. Our assets are well tested through Grab’s own services. We’ve gone from offering our tech as a booking platform for taxi operators, to providing a fleet of delivery drivers for e-commerce companies.

“It’s now time to take what we’re really good at to a select group of partners – and eventually make our platform open to the wider Southeast Asia ecosystem. With over 100 million mobile installs, a network of 7.1 million drivers, delivery partners, merchants and agents, and strong payments and back-end technology, we are better placed than anyone else in the region to help other startups and businesses grow and scale, as we have,” Grab co-founder and group CEO Anthony Tan said during a media briefing.

“Grocery delivery is a huge opportunity in Southeast Asia. From our research, 70 per cent of grocery delivery app users shop at least once per week, and they like to shop from the stores that they are familiar with. What they want is their preferred items to be available and ready, when they want it. GrabFresh already has the widest selection of products compared to other grocery delivery services,” said HappyFresh CEO Guillem Segarra.

In addition to the grocery delivery service, Grab will also be offering Pulsa, a service to top up one’s prepaid mobile phone credits in Indonesia. Dabbling into the content space, the ride-hailing major has also partnered with Yahoo to offer local news in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines this month. Other local news partnerships will be announced soon.

“If you’re travelling or waiting for your food at a restaurant, you could read the local news, delivered to you by our platform. 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 Grab’s head of product Jerald Singh.

All these new services will be rolled out in Singapore and Indonesia on the iOS platform today, and on Android from July 18. Users in Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam will have access to these services by the third quarter of 2018.

Tan said that Grab crossed the 2-billion ride milestone this month and its food delivery service registered a 9x growth in the past 12 months. GrabFood, riding on the back of the acquisition of Uber’s food delivery business in the region, expanded from two to six countries in the second quarter of 2018.