Grab to beef up S'pore R&D centre, add jobs

Grab's R&D centre in Singapore will move to a much larger office space of almost 100,000 sq ft in the Central Business District.
Grab's R&D centre in Singapore will move to a much larger office space of almost 100,000 sq ft in the Central Business District.PHOTO: REUTERS

Ride-hailing company Grab is expanding its research and development (R&D) centre in Singapore, as it opened two more centres in the region and announced plans to add over 800 developers in the next two years.

Its two new centres in Bangalore and Ho Chi Minh City add to those in Singapore, Beijing, Jakarta and Seattle, "significantly expanding its global R&D capabilities", said Grab in a statement yesterday. The new R&D staff will be hired for all six centres, it added.

"Currently, we have more than 2,000 employees worldwide and the plan is to hire another 800 to support Grab's rapidly growing multimodal transport platform and proprietary payments system across South-east Asia," said a Grab spokesman.

Grab's R&D centre in Singapore, housed in a 4,500 sq ft office in Midview City, will move to a much larger office space of almost 100,000 sq ft in the Central Business District. As Grab's largest R&D centre, "it continues to drive development of the app based on local market research, and introduce new services and features that improve the user experience", said the company.

Its new R&D centre in Bangalore, India's Silicon Valley, will house up to 200 engineers who will focus on developing new payment technologies for GrabPay, its digital payment platform.

The Ho Chi Minh City centre will create in-app user experiences tailored to users in Vietnam as well as enhance the experience for users across the region, said Grab.

The company said it now operates in 39 cities across six countries, with over 710,000 drivers in its network. Last year, Grab started testing driverless cars with passengers able to request "robo-cars" in selected areas of Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2017, with the headline 'Grab to beef up S'pore R&D centre, add jobs'. Print Edition | Subscribe