Grab plans to breakeven in 2024, but 2023 spells uncertainty. How's the ride hailing giant coping?

Grab plans to breakeven in 2024, but 2023 spells uncertainty. How’s the ride hailing giant coping?Source: Reuters/Edgar Su

Grab wants to build a superapp for Southeast Asia

TODAY, mobile apps know the value of not letting users get off their app. It’s what drives success and ensures ‘sticky-ness’.

WeChat learned that first in its efforts to capture the Chinese market, and they taught the world how more services on the platform can make the app a bigger success. From shopping to payments to games, the app has it all.

And now, Grab is planning to go down that route in Southeast Asia.

The platform recently made advancements to its GrabPay and GrabFood capabilities, and is now adding more bandwidth to its platforms via APIs.

The company just announced GrabPlatform, a new suite of APIs that allow partners to integrate their services with Grab.

The first vendor: HappyFresh

One of the first services the company will be launching via GrabPlatform is GrabFresh, an on-demand grocery delivery service – created in partnership with HappyFresh.

“From this month, Grab will bring the largest category of household expenditure onboard – and will take a step closer to becoming Southeast Asia’s superapp,” says Jerald Singh, Head of Products, Grab.

GrabFresh, powered by HappyFresh, offers a value-added service:

  • The widest selection of over 100,000 grocery products from over 50 large supermarket chains and specialty grocery chains
  • Trained personal shoppers who know how to pick the right items like fresh produce, and can respond to specific instructions. Customers can reject items that are not satisfactory at the door
  • Flexibility and convenience to have groceries delivered to your doorstep, when you want it

“Grocery delivery is a huge opportunity in Southeast Asia. From our research, 70 percent 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 for their preferred items to be available and ready, when they want it,” said Guillem Segarra, CEO of HappyFresh.

Can’t build a superapp without games

To keep users engaged, Grab’s new app will feature games, news, and even a feature that tries to detect when users travel to other geographies to help them better understand their surroundings. For instance, it gives users information on key attractions in their new city.

“Yahoo is delighted to partner with Grab across Singapore, Philippines, and Malaysia as they re-imagine their homescreen experience for these markets. We look forward to this opportunity of informing, entertaining and connecting with an even larger audience, giving users the trusted content they rely on Yahoo for, with the convenience they expect from Grab,” said Rico Chan, Managing Director, Oath INSEA, Hong Kong and Japan.

The new superapp will be launched in Singapore and Indonesia today. In other markets, it’ll be released in the next quarter.

However, it is GrabPlatform that will truly make the app a superapp by facilitating the creation of an ecosystem.

Partners can work with Grab in multiple ways to focus on growing their business while reducing operational complexity.

  1. Build into GrabPlatform: Partners can provide more services, such as GrabFresh, powered by HappyFresh, directly to Grab’s users.
  2. Empower with GrabPlatform: Enable partners to integrate Grab’s suite of technology and products into their own websites or apps. Products that partners can integrate include GrabPay for mobile payments, GrabExpress for logistics, or GrabProfiles for user authentication.
  3. Engage through GrabPlatform: Partners can actively engage Grab customers via both Grab’s news feed and GrabRewards loyalty programme through useful content such as reviews and promotions.