SINGAPORE - Grab said on Wednesday (Aug 28) that it is investing another US$500 million (S$694.4 million) over five years to grow in Vietnam and tap opportunities in fintech, new mobility solutions and logistics.
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 US$500 million investment will also go into launching new services, and expanding Grab's transport, food and payments networks in Vietnam.
In its "Tech for Good" development roadmap, three main areas Grab will look at are lifting communities from poverty, helping build a skilled workforce, and working with city governments for urban planning.
Grab aims to partner financial institutions to provide financial solutions to micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses - which includes driver-partners, delivery partners and merchant partners. This includes access to credit and insurance products to grow and protect livelihoods.
It also plans to grow its research and development (R&D) headcount in Vietnam and invest in building Vietnamese tech talents. It will also encourage tech entrepreneurship and support growth in the market's startup scene through its GrabVentures programme.
Grab also aims to work with city governments and policymakers in harnessing data to make better urban planning decisions to alleviate problems like traffic congestion and pollution. It will also look to put sustainability at the centre of its business by targeting to reduce plastic waste for its GrabFood delivery service.
Grab Vietnam country head Jerry Lim said that by the end of 2019, Grab would have invested "more than US$200 million into the country to better the livelihoods of users and partners of its services.
"By aligning our business with the government's socio-economic development plan, we want to make a significant and meaningful contribution to Vietnam's long-term socio-economic growth, and support the country's Industry 4.0 ambitions," Mr Lim added.
Grab added that it has made "an open call for partnerships" with public and private sector stakeholders who share the same Tech For Good vision.
As for its tie-up with Sovico Group, the conglomerate will provide its expertise and networks in aviation, finance, real estate and hospitality, together with Grab's technology and platform, to accelerate Vietnam's economic and technological development, said Grab upon the signing of a memorandum of understanding.
Sovico Holdings owns private airline Vietjet Air, and also runs several resorts and hotels including Furama Resort Da Nang, Ana Mandara and An Lam Ninh Van Bay.
Grab head of regional operations Russell Cohen added the country's rapidly developing economy and young, mobile-first population makes it ripe for the adoption of digital services.
"As we scale our food, parcel delivery, transport and payments business across the country, we hope to tap and invest in new opportunities emerging in the fintech, mobility and logistics space, in order to bring about greater value and innovation for our customers and partners," he said.