SINGAPORE/JAKARTA: Ride-hailing app Grab is expanding its services in Singapore and Indonesia as it aims to become an “everyday superapp” where customers can do everything from ordering groceries to accessing news.

“When we first launched, we were built for one purpose: to bring people safely from point A to point B,” said Grab co-founder Anthony Tan at the official launch of the new Grab app and platform, as reported by Southeast Asia Globe.

“But our mission evolved. In the beginning it was a simple taxi app… now it’s changing to become an everyday superapp,” he declared.

The new GrabPlatform provides transportation, news, e-commerce and food delivery services, the latter including the GrabFresh service, a partnership with grocery delivery startup HappyFresh.

“Partnering strategy – or we call it open platform strategy – has been favoured by us to offer more to customers,” said Tan. “It has been proved very effective in boosting our business.”

In particular he cited a tie up with Kudo, Indonesia’s leading online-to-offline payment service: “If it wasn't for Kudo, we could not have grown in Indonesia that fast. We went operational from 20 cities to over 100 cities in Indonesia, because of Kudo.”

The recent acquisition of Uber’s southeast Asia business (Uber took a 27.5% stake in Grab at the same time), including its Uber Eats food delivery business, also boosted Grab’s presence across the wider region.

Grab’s intention is to roll out its new “superapp” to customers in Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam by the end of the third quarter.

And while HappyFresh anticipates its partnership expanding in tandem, Grab remains open to new partnerships where appropriate.

“If there’s a partner that has an excellent service and wants to use its partnership with Grab to expand, we will work with them and enable them to do that,” said Jerald Singh, head of product management at Grab.

Go-Jek, a rival ride-hailing app from Indonesia, has followed a similar path, attracting investment from Google and as it expands vertically into new services and horizontally into new markets.

Sourced from Jakarta Globe, Southeast Asia Globe, Straits Times; additional content by WARC staff