Grab user briefly lost their GrabPay credits during an outage on Thursday morning. Source: Flickr/fivestarsandamoon

Grab to buy, integrate Indonesian e-commerce platform Kudo into GrabPay

RIDE-hailing platform Grab has agreed to acquire Kudo, the leading online-to-offline e-commerce platform in Indonesia, the company announced on Monday.

The acquisition is part of Grab’s bid to be the number one mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia.  The company did not say how much the deal was worth.

The Kudo team and platform will be integrated into Grab’s mobile payments platform, GrabPay. The merger will expand Grab’s payments ecosystem to support growth in online consumer spending in Indonesia, and is the company’s first investment under its recently-announced “Grab 4 Indonesia” 2020 master plan.

Kudo’s online- to-offline platform enables Indonesia’s unbanked consumers to shop online by connecting them with online merchants and service providers via Kudo’s network of more than 400,000 agents operating in 500 cities and towns across the country

“Kudo is revolutionizing how consumers in Indonesia pay for goods and services, and we are very pleased to welcome them to the Grab family,” said Grab president Ming Maa.

“Combining Kudo’s innovative e-commerce solution and extensive agent network with GrabPay and Grab’s massive and active customer base will advance our mission of providing millions of people across Indonesia with increased access to convenient cashless payments and new income opportunities, while also unlocking compelling new ways to boost online spending.”

The two companies also plan to explore opportunities to grow Kudo’s financial services offering, including insurance and consumer loans.

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Last November, Grab launched GrabPay Credits, a cashless stored value option for the Grab app. This was followed by GrabRewards, Southeast Asia’s first regional loyalty program for ride-hailing passengers.

Last month, Grab also announced it was significantly expanding its global research and development (R&D) capabilities, adding 800 R&D hires in the next two years, many of which will be focusing on developing payment solutions.

The company has also announced the appointment of Jason Thompson as the new head of GrabPay. The former Euronet EMEA & Asia managing director will lead Grab’s payments strategy.