Grab Ventures, the new accelerator and investment unit of Grab, aims to select Indonesian startups and help them expand across Southeast Asia through strategic investments, technology capabilities, mentorship, and market access.
The firm will partner or invest in startups that want to solve mobility, food, logistics, fintech, and other O2O challenges. In an earlier announcement, Grab Group CEO and Co-Founder Anthony Tan said Grab Ventures will use funds coming from Grab’s own balance sheet.
The launch of Grab Ventures in Indonesia follows its regional launch in June in Singapore. It is also the latest initiative of the “Grab 4 Indonesia” 2020 Master Plan that aims to support the country’s goal to become the largest digital economy in Southeast Asia by 2020.
Grab Ventures is looking to make about 10 investments over the coming two years. It will also offer an accelerator programme, Velocity, for growth-stage startups looking to expand across Southeast Asia.
In Indonesia, Grab Ventures will work with startups at multiple stages of growth in two ways: strategic partnerships and integration with Grab’s services for mature startups and Grab Ventures Velocity for startups that are still scaling up.
“We have proven ourselves as a partner of choice to other startups with our excellent track record to date,” said Ridzki Kramadibarata, Managing Director of Grab Indonesia.
In April, Grab acquired Indonesian payment startup Kudo. The Indonesian startup’s model enables Indonesia’s unbanked consumers to shop online by connecting them with online merchants and service providers. The startup’s network houses more than 400,000 authorized agents in 500 towns and cities across the country.
Since the acquisition, Kramadibrata said Kudo has grown its agent network from 400,000 to 1.4 million registered agents.
Grab now has businesses like GrabFood, GrabPay and currently offers services in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. The company more than doubled the growth of mobile app downloads within the past year from 45 million in June 2017 to 100 million to date, it claims.