iPhone users, do you notice anything new about your Grab app today? Do you see a new on-demand grocery delivery service called GrabFresh on your phone? Are you receiving a news feed which includes reviews of nearby restaurants or shopping malls?
These changes are just the beginning of Grab’s “open platform strategy” – one day, you may be able to get the latest World Cup score updates on Grab, as well as the location of the nearest mosque during Ramadan.
After acquiring Uber and becoming Southeast Asia’s leading transport hailing app, Grab is now poised to pursue its vision of becoming an everyday “superapp”, starting with GrabFresh. While Grab currently includes food delivery and cashless payment services under its umbrella, it wants to be able to integrate even more everyday services to make the app more useful and relevant.
Today, its group chief executive officer and co-founder, Anthony Tan, announced the launch of GrabPlatform, a suite of APIs (application programming interface) for partners to integrate their services. This means that businesses who choose to work with Grab will be able leverage on Grab’s user base, and access components of Grab’s technology, like logistics and payments.
“Over the past six years, we’ve worked hard to improve our technology and expand our reach. Our assets are well tested through Grab’s own services. We’ve gone from offering our tech as a booking platform for taxi operators, to providing a fleet of delivery drivers for e-commerce companies.
“It’s now time to take what we’re really good at to a select group of partners – and eventually make our platform open to the wider Southeast Asia ecosystem. With over 100 million mobile installs, a network of 7.1 million drivers, delivery partners, merchants and agents, and strong payments and back-end technology, we are better placed than anyone else in the region to help other start-ups and businesses grow and scale, as we have,” said Mr Tan.
GrabFresh is the result of a GrabPlatform partner integration with HappyFresh, an online grocery provider which currently serves Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Using GrabExpress drivers and delivery partners, GrabFresh promises groceries to one’s doorstep within an hour, or at a pre-arranged and convenient time.
Users can fill up their shopping baskets from a selection of 100,000 grocery products from over 50 large supermarket chains and specialty grocery chains. Trained personal shoppers are supposed to help you pick the right fresh produce, and you can reject items that are not satisfactory at the door.
This announcement comes on the back of Grab amassing a total of 2 billion rides as at 7 July this year. Found in June 2012, Grab said that it has taken five years and four months to hit 1 billion rides, and another nine months to hit the second billion.
Grab users can also benefit from a content partnership with Yahoo, and keep up to date with the latest news at any time in Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines from this month. Other local news partnerships will be announced in other countries soon.