GrabTaxi launches R&D centre in Singapore

SINGAPORE - GrabTaxi launched a new research and development (R&D) centre on Wednesday, as the start-up looks to raise the ante in Singapore's highly competitive taxi booking app market.

The 4,500 sq ft centre located at Cecil Street will accommodate more than 200 engineers and data analysts. The centre will cost US$100 million (S$136 million) over the next few years, the company said.

On Wednesday, GrabTaxi also announced new appointments. Mr Wei Zhu, formerly head of the Facebook engineering team, is now GrabTaxi's chief technology officer.

Mr Kevin Lee, former head of Asia for Palantir Technologies, has also been hired as vice president of data and growth at GrabTaxi.

Besides GrabTaxi, there are at least four other taxi booking apps in Singapore - Easy Taxi, Hailo, MoobiTaxi, and UberTaxi.