Singapore’s Grab launches innovation arm for tech startups

Grab Ventures will be the vehicle through which Singapore-based Grab will expand beyond ride hailing services into areas including financials, food services and logistics.

On Tuesday, Singapore-based Grab, launched launched its innovation arm, Grab Ventures in order to support and develop technology start-ups in sectors including food services, transport, financial services, logistics.

The development assumes significance since the move expands the company’s reach beyond just ride-hailing services.

Six years ago, Grab started as a taxi-booking app and it has ventured into areas which include food delivery and payment services.

Earlier this year, it acquired Uber Technologies’ regional operations.

“We have articulated our vision to be the everyday app of Southeast Asia, so we are interested in any tech that enables that vision in terms of becoming a complete O2O (online-to- offline) mobile platform,” said Chris Yeo, head of Grab Ventures.

Grab Ventures’ current portfolio includes Indonesian payments service Kudo and self-driving technology firm Drive.ai.

Grab Ventures aims to seek partners in the 8-10 growth-stage start-ups over the next two years; it may also sink in money in a few of them.

According to Yeo, Grab Ventures will work with government agencies across the region to support such companies by helping them develop and scale technologies. It could also look for partners in the private sector, said Yeo.

Grab Ventures’ accelerator program, which will provide expertise, technical resources and networks to the start-ups, includes partners from government agencies such as the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore and Enterprise Singapore.

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