In 2018, armed with dry powder from its record Series H fundraising round, Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab launched its own investment arm, Grab Ventures.
The plan was to invest in and partner with tech startups in the region. Since then, Grab Ventures has been making investments in three ways: venture building such as with GrabFresh, GrabKitchen and GrabWheels services, accelerator programmes and direct investments through the traditional venture capital route.
The firm in 2019 announced investments in Singapore-based logistics startup NinjaVan and British ride-hailing roaming startup Splyt. Last week, it launched its first early-stage accelerator in Southeast Asia, Grab Ventures Ignite, in Vietnam.
As investors across the globe turn cautious and slow down their pace of dealmaking, Grab Ventures chief Chris Yeo said the venture unit continues to see several opportunities to partner with and/or invest in startups in Southeast Asia.
Within each of Grab’s three core services — transport, food delivery and financial services– there is still room for both Grab and startups in the region to grow, he added.