Grab to add P2P lending, remittance services to boost payments business

Grab's Ming Maa.

Singapore-based Grab plans to add peer-to-peer (P2P) lending and remittance services as part of its plans to becoming Southeast Asia’s “super app”. The unicorn currently offers ride-hailing, food delivery and payment solutions on its platform.

During the fireside chat at the third edition of DEALSTREETASIA’s Asia PE VC Summit 2018 on Tuesday, Grab President Ming Maa said that e-payments such as P2P lending and remittances are one of the highest friction points in the region. Grab plans to enter this space as its payments platform strengthens.

“If you go to a Western Union or small remittance shops in a mall, the fees you pay are very high. We can bring that lower because we don’t have the same infrastructure costs that others have,” Maa said.

Moving cash into a mobile device currently costs between 9% and 17% depending on available physical channels.

On Tuesday, Grab also announced a strategic investment in Moca – a Vietnamese mobile payment startup aimed at rolling out payment services to consumers and SMEs across Southeast Asia.

Grab is also targeting online fraud to strengthen its e-wallet service.

Ming Maa said, “People rarely talk about fraud. It’s almost considered a dirty word. That’s because it’s very difficult to assess fraud on a platform. If you look at some competitor platforms, fraud rates can be as high as 20 to 30 per cent. We’re working to ensure that the right systems are in place so we don’t have this problem. Unless your customers trust your e-wallet, they will never adopt you.”

Over recent months, Grab has been branching into new areas to diversify away from its core business of ride-hailing. So far the company has entered into partnerships with Ping An Good Doctor, Yahoo and Happy Fresh to provide services in online healthcare, news content and groceries delivery.

Grab is also clear about the sectors it does not want to get into. “We would never want to do e-commerce. It’s not in our DNA. But we would partner e-commence companies and open our platform to allow them to access the customers we have today,” said Maa.

Grab has been raising funds at a rapid pace to fuel these growth plans.

The company is on track to raise an additional $1 billion by the end of 2018, with $500 million of it already committed. Grab last raised $2 billion from a diverse group of investors such as OppenheimerFunds and SoftBank and aims to hit $2 billion in revenue by next year. Grab currently has a post-money valuation of $11 billion from its last round of financing.

Grab also nurtures bold ambitions to capture Southeast Asia’s largest market, Indonesia – the home base of its direct rival Go-Jek.

On whether Grab was imitating Go-Jek’s “super app” model, Maa said, “I do agree that imitation is the best form of flattery. Uber was the first in the business, and we imitated a lot Uber’s services. Alibaba similarly, imitated Amazon. The key is not about imitation, but about how you make it relevant and right for your customers.” 

Grab claims to have 65 per cent of the ride-hailing market in Indonesia.

 

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.