Grab investing $694m more to grow in Vietnam

Grab is looking to expand its transport, food and payment networks in Vietnam. In its "Tech for Good" road map, it will look at lifting communities from poverty, building a skilled workforce and working with city governments on urban planning.
Grab is looking to expand its transport, food and payment networks in Vietnam. In its "Tech for Good" road map, it will look at lifting communities from poverty, building a skilled workforce and working with city governments on urban planning.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Grab is investing another US$500 million (S$694 million) over five years to grow in Vietnam and tap opportunities in fintech, new mobility solutions and logistics, the ride-hailing firm said yesterday.

In line with this, Grab has struck a strategic partnership with multi-sector Vietnamese conglomerate Sovico Group to collaborate on mobility and logistics solutions to improve Vietnam's first-and last-mile delivery networks.

The investment will also go into launching new services and expanding Grab's transport, food and payment networks in Vietnam.

In its "Tech for Good" road map, Grab will look at three areas of development: lifting communities from poverty, helping to build a skilled workforce and working with city governments on urban planning.

Grab aims to partner financial institutions to provide solutions to micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses, including driver partners and merchant partners. These solutions include access to credit and insurance products.

The firm plans to grow its research and development headcount in Vietnam, and invest in building Vietnamese tech talent. It will also encourage tech entrepreneurship and support growth in the market's start-up scene through its Grab Ventures programme.

Grab also intends to work with city governments and policymakers in harnessing data to make better urban planning decisions, aimed at alleviating problems such as traffic congestion and pollution.

It will also look to put sustainability at the centre of its business by reducing plastic waste for its GrabFood delivery service.

Grab's Vietnam country head Jerry Lim said that by the end of the year, Grab will have invested "more than US$200 million into the country to better the livelihoods of users and partners of its services".

Grab said it made an open call for partnerships with public and private sector stakeholders who share its Tech For Good vision.

As for the tie-up with Sovico Group, the Vietnamese conglomerate will provide its expertise and networks in aviation, finance, real estate and hospitality through Grab's technology and platform, said Grab at the signing of a memorandum of understanding yesterday.

Sovico Holdings owns private airline VietJet Air and runs several resorts and hotels.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2019, with the headline 'Grab investing $694m more to grow in Vietnam'. Print Edition | Subscribe