Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Grab SG launches its revamped food site HungryGoWhere

Singapore – Super app Grab in Singapore has bought and relaunched the country’s well-loved food site HungryGoWhere and its accompanying social media channels. This revamped HungryGoWhere brand aims to address the growing interest of diners to reconnect with the local food scene in much deeper ways.

HungryGoWhere aims to spotlight up-and-coming personalities and the origins of popular foods that are not often told. The site will act as a one-stop platform that explores the highways and byways of the local food scene through food reviews and recommendations, profile interviews, and a behind-the-scenes look at the food.

To ensure its curation of content constantly addresses what consumers are looking for, HungryGoWhere will also leverage rich insights derived from Grab’s superapp data, such as popular food trends and frequently visited places in Singapore, amongst a spectrum of other interests and preferences.

Moreover, it will provide F&B businesses with another channel for expanding their reach and growing their business. To help featured brands gain as much visibility as possible, relevant stories on HungryGoWhere will also be shared with Grab’s wide base of highly engaged users via the Grab app and on Grab’s marketing channels.

Cifer Ong, Grab Singapore’s managing director of strategy and partnerships, shared that HungryGoWhere is a brand that many Singaporeans have grown to love since its inception more than a decade ago and many were sad to see it go, and they feel privileged and excited to be bringing back its longstanding legacy, while aiming to take it to the next level with this rebrand. 

“Eventually, we want to establish Grab and our associated brands as the go-to source for diners seeking the best food recommendations and F&B brands looking to grow their business. We believe that our deep relationships with merchants and key learnings from the food sector, coupled with our extensive superapp insights, will help us achieve this. We look forward to the continued support of the F&B community and diners, and trust that the new HungryGoWhere will continue to serve them well,” said Ong.

The revamped brand retains its name and iconic red hue, in a nod to its longstanding legacy as a trusted food discovery platform in the F&B scene. It also sports a trendy and approachable new look that reflects its commitment to engaging with consumers through new and exciting content. Amongst its offerings is a brand-new 20 Questions With interview series with the who’s who of the F&B sector. Co-founders of popular bagel chain Two Men Bagel House, Jereborne Lam and Jerome Lam, will kick off the series with a candid interview, in which they touched on everything from their favourite bagels to their guilty indulgences.

The new site will also feature From Scratch, a series exploring the origins of popular foods and the work that goes into making them. In the first instalment, Kim Guan Guan Coffee Trading, a Singapore coffee roaster with a rich history, takes readers through the various steps of brewing a fragrant cup of local coffee.

Aside from, diners can also connect with HungryGoWhere on its Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages, as well as HungryGoWhere’s Telegram channel.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Grab ties with KLEAN, MRANTI to promote recycling in Malaysia

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia – As Grab Malaysia continues to scale up its environmental sustainability efforts, the superapp has partnered with Malaysia’s reverse vending machine ecosystem, KLEAN, and the one-stop-shop for innovation commercialisation, Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI), to look at solutions that will responsibly recover and recycle single-use plastic with reverse vending machines (RVMs). This move aims to help encourage recycling and make it easier for consumers to contribute to a greener Malaysia.

Through this partnership, Grab and KLEAN will be rolling out AI-driven RVMs, at specific locations, where users can easily send their recyclable food packaging waste. In addition, Grab will be leveraging its platform to increase visibility, and drive consumer participation and education efforts. Meanwhile, MRANTI’s role in providing integrated facilities for end-to-end research, development, commercialisation, and innovation (R&D&C&I) services will assist in the enhancement of the AI on the RVMs, and will help accelerate the commercialisation of the product.

Hassan Alsagoff, Grab Malaysia’s country marketing head, shared that they seek to protect the environment as it is crucial to building resilient small businesses and strong communities that can thrive for generations to come.

“We will continue to collaborate with government bodies, corporate partners, and policymakers through various programmes, to tackle the challenge of climate change. Together we want to create a sustainable future and provide easy ways for our consumers to make greener choices in everyday decisions”, said Alsagoff.

KLEAN Reverse Vending Machines, which was launched in 2019 by JANZ Technologies Sdn Bhd, collect aluminium cans and plastic bottles, and sort on-site, while registering users and rewarding them with virtual points. These collected items are then smelted back into aluminium in the case of cans and recycled into Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) pellets and fibre in the case of plastic bottles by recycling partners within the KLEAN ecosystem.

Over the next few months, the partnership aims to look at developing more AI-driven RVMs, onboard more reward partners to its redemption platform, data collection and deploy the machines to various locations across the country for easier access.

Alsagoff added, “We believe that this is a small step in the right direction. We are committed to making a real sustainable and scalable impact in partnership with drivers, industry innovators, and governments. It’s the right thing to do for our communities, our cities, and the planet we all share.”

Joey Azman, KLEAN’s co-founder and chief financial officer, shared that they applaud Grab Malaysia’s commitment to recover back and promote recycling of single-use plastic alongside its aim to partner locally, as with the rising popularity of food and grocery deliveries, it is essential that they find ways to enable greater recycling of plastic waste. 

“Partnerships and initiatives from corporations like Grab can help rally communities to adopt greener practices and contribute to positive change. We hope other companies will join us in our mission to improve the recycling habits of consumers through KLEAN’s own digital version of a ‘container deposit scheme,” said Azman.

Meanwhile, Dzuleira Abu Bakar, MRANTI’s CEO, noted that MRANTI is set to bridge the gap between public and private sector collaboration by connecting problem statements (demand) with solutions (supply) and increasing private sector participation, either through market access, investment, advisory, consultation, or providing testing and prototyping facilities. 

“This project collaboration amongst the great minds of Grab and KLEAN is what we aim to nurture further within the ecosystem,” said Abu Bakar.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Grab, BSSN ink MoU to scale cybersecurity literacy amongst driver-partners, merchants in Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia – Super app Grab in Indonesia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indonesia’s primary signal intelligence agency, National Cyber ​​and Crypto Agency (BSSN), to increase knowledge and development of human resources related to cybersecurity, especially for driver-partners and Grab merchants. 

The collaboration will hold various trainings and webinars related to cybersecurity literacy and digital economy security at GrabAcademy. It will also see Grab supporting BSSN for educational activities related to cyber security for the Indonesian people to avoid cyber attacks.

Hinsa Siburian, Republic of Indonesia’s head of the National Cyber ​​and Crypto Agency (BSSN), believes that they must have a strategy in carrying out the task of BSSN.

“And specifically for the problem of protecting national vital information infrastructure, Grab is included here, we must protect this so that business processes at Grab run safely and smoothly. If one day there will be a crisis, then we have also prepared how to manage a national cyber crisis,” said Siburian.

Meanwhile, Ridzki Kramadibrata, Grab’s president for Indonesia, shared that the use of technology also needs to be complemented by an understanding of digital literacy, especially for driver-partners and business partners.

“We hope that through collaboration that carries the GrabForGood spirit to bring positive impact from technology, Grab can continue to increase literacy awareness on cybersecurity so that everyone can participate in digital economy activities more safely,” said Kramadibrata.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Grab PH rolls out new loan service programme for merchants

Manila, Philippines – As Grab in the Philippines doubles down on its efforts to pave the way for financial inclusion for all Filipinos, especially for its merchant-partners, the super app’s lending arm, Grab Financial Services Philippines, Inc., an SEC-licensed financing company, has launched its new loan service programme called Quick Cash.

With Quick Cash’s fast disbursal and easy application process, merchants can easily acquire a business loan that is tailored to their current needs, with no collateral required, and a flexible repayment term from 6 to 12 months. It is also able to personalise loans for each business to ensure they are able to afford their loan safely. Just as well, daily and automatic micro-deduction are also put in place by the program to help make repayments more convenient and hassle-free.

To avail loans, interested merchants will only have to confirm their merchant details with Grab with no additional requirements needed, and they are already all set to receive their needed capital and financial support – all in less than seven days.

Martha Borja, head for Grab Financial Philippines, shared that many of the budding MSME merchant-partners are in need of access to financial solutions – especially in the first few steps of their business which they have worked very hard to bring into fruition, and Grab is fully-committed to supporting them every step of the way. 

“Our new loan service programme will provide many of our MSME merchant-partners the very push that they need to scale their enterprise and grow their business on the Grab platform,” Borja said.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Grab PH launches on-ground celebration ‘Grab Caravan’ centred on food diversity

Manila, Philippines – Super app Grab in the Philippines has announced the launch of ‘Grab Caravan’, an on-ground celebration that invites all Filipinos to come together for their love of food by grabbing a bite from a selection of crowd favourite restaurants.

To kick off the Grab Caravan, Grab will first be visiting the home of picturesque sceneries of nature, Rizal province, to bring together and showcase the best of Rizal’s food scene at the Robinsons Place Antipolo Transport Terminal on 14 May. Some of the participating food establishments include Katsu House, Uncle Moe’s, Konbini by Katsu House, Auntie Anne’s, Big Al’s Cookie House, Baked By Mary Grace, Chachago, and Lecheng Tsaa.

“With the variety of restaurants joining together for the Grab Caravan, Rizaleños are in for a great feast, with lots of food choices available for everyone at any price point. Rizaleños should definitely be ready to satisfy both their cravings and their savings as they welcome the first-ever Grab Caravan in their hometown,” Grab said in a press statement.

GrabPay will also be the official payment partner of the Grab Caravan, which will allow attendees to get up to PHP20 cashback for every transaction made through GrabPay during the caravan.

After its stint in the Rizal province, the Grab Caravan will be visiting Cavite, Cebu, and Pampanga in the coming months.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Grab-led digibank JV to get nod to operate in Malaysia

Malaysia – Grab and Singtel has announced today that GXS Bank, their digital bank joint venture, and a consortium of Malaysian investors including Kuok Brothers, have been selected to receive a full digital banking licence in Malaysia, subject to meeting all of Bank Negara Malaysia’s regulatory conditions. 

The digital bank to be established is expected to enable local micro-SMEs and other financially underserved segments such as gig economy workers to access a suite of financial services. 

To build the Malaysia digital bank, Pei Si Lai, financial industry veteran and the one appointed to lead the digital bank, will be assembling a team with diverse backgrounds in finance and technology. Over 200 roles are targeted to be filled by launch, including in the areas of product and design, data, technology, risk, and compliance. 

Reuben Lai, senior managing director of Grab Financial Group and board member of the regional digibank JV, said that they will leverage the consortium’s combined strengths including technology expertise, data from highly-engaged consumers, experience in financial services in SEA, as well as deep understanding of the Malaysian market, to redefine the banking experience for underbanked Malaysians. 

 “The Malaysia digital bank consortium is honoured to be given the opportunity to build a next-generation digital bank and drive access to financial services for underbanked Malaysians,” said Lai. 

Meanwhile, Arthur Lang, Singtel’s group chief financial officer and also board member of the regional digibank JV, said, “We are glad to have this opportunity to support Malaysia’s vision of greater financial inclusion for its people. Our consortium partners and ourselves are excited to build a platform that will provide innovative digital banking services for the underbanked as well as the SMEs that are the backbone of the Malaysian economy. This aligns closely with our goal of harnessing technology to empower people across the region, bringing greater options and positive change as we build something special across the region. We aim to spur fintech innovation that will transform the banking experience, making financial services more accessible, relevant and affordable.” 

As CEO designate of the Malaysian digital bank, Lai brings extensive experience and deep customer centricity honed over 25 years in retail banking, wealth management, corporate finance, product and business management, as well as governance, in both local and international markets. Prior to her current role, she was managing director and country head for the consumer, private and business banking of Standard Chartered in Malaysia. 

Lai commented, “The opportunity to build the Malaysian digital bank from the ground up and be at the forefront of the fast-evolving Malaysian fintech landscape is incredibly exciting. Aside from leveraging agile banking technology that will enable us to offer tailored and unique banking experiences for our consumers, my team and I will also tap on the strong support from our shareholders and strategic partners, as well as guidance from Bank Negara Malaysia and the Ministry of Finance, to deliver on our mission to serve and empower underbanked Malaysian communities such as gig workers and small businesses. We will also actively partner with leading industry players to advance the Malaysian financial landscape.” 

The digital bank joint venture between Grab and Singtel was formed in 2020 and selected to be awarded a full digital banking licence in Singapore.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Grab Indonesia ties with VIU to launch six-part ‘Stories of Belief’ series

Jakarta, Indonesia – To honour the resilience and self-belief shown by Indonesians during the pandemic, Grab Indonesia has partnered with OTT video streaming service Viu to launch a six-part series titled ‘Cerita Tentang Percaya’, which in English translates to ‘Stories of Belief’. 

The series is inspired by real-life stories of Indonesians who persevered, dared to fail, and rose again during the pandemic. Each of the 22-minute episodes of the show, which is streamed on Viu, focuses on a different story of survival during the pandemic. It has also been timed to launch with Grab’s ad campaign ‘Percaya’, which in English translates to ‘belief’, that salutes the resilient spirit of Indonesians. 

A collaborative effort of three players – The Academy Consulting (TAC), Iron Hill Media (IHM) and Passion Pictures Indonesia (PASSION). The original concept and strategy were pitched to Grab and Viu by TAC, while IHM fleshed out the six stories, and PASSION executed the production with film director Hafiz Ibrahim.

Melinda Savitri, Grab Indonesia’s country marketing head, commented that they are pleased to have partnered with Viu for ‘Cerita Tentang Percaya‘ series, which reflects the character of Indonesians, who are known to be extremely persistent – relentlessly trying again and again to overcome challenges. 

“As an inseparable element of the nation, Grab stands and fights with all Indonesians. Through collaboration with Viu and supported by TAC, PASSION, and IHM, we want the audience to feel a connection that this is a story about all of us, a story about celebrating the fight itself,” said Savitri.

Meanwhile, Varun Mehta, Viu Indonesia’s country manager, said, “The core concept of Cerita Tentang Percaya the series appealed to us greatly and that is why we wanted to partner with Grab by providing a platform where not only these stories but also the creativity of Indonesian content can be seen by a larger audience both in Indonesia and internationally.” 

Sheen S Singh, the founder of TAC, IHM & PASSION Malaysia-Indonesia-Thailand, noted that it was a proactive initiative that was developed by the team at TAC which has found that there is a fast-growing appetite amongst the consumers for long-form entertainment and an opportunity for brands to entertain and engage with them by telling relevant stories. 

“From a creative perspective, this series was designed to entertain with the brand being a part of life versus having the stories evolve around the brand. The content we aspire to produce for brands will always put “entertainment” first to ensure it is widely viewed. We are thankful to Grab and Viu for recognising this opportunity,” said Singh.

The platform has been streaming two episodes each week with the last episode scheduled to be shown on the 27th of April.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Grab PH turns the spotlight to food SMBs via ‘Indie Eats’

Manila, Philippines – In a bid to aid the growing number of food-related small businesses in the Philippines, Grab Philippines has launched a new program called ‘Indie Eats’, which aims to help merchant-partners amplify their presence on GrabFood and bring their offerings to the spotlight.

‘Indie Eats’ hosts a full roster of small and local merchant-partners that are perfect for every craving. Whether you’re looking for refreshing mango coolers to beat the heat from ‘Mango Series’, the hearty and comforting taste of lugaw (rice porridge) from ‘Lugaw ni Pinggoy’, or a quick bite of your favourite pastries from ‘Panaderia Pantoja’, Grab has you covered with its range of merchant-partners.

With Indie Eats, Grab hopes to provide assistance to their vast community of small and local merchant-partners. Those interested to onboard can partake in Grab’s upskilling seminars, providing training in building their brand and menu. This ensures that merchant-partners are able to improve their brand every step of the way. 

All in all, the program also aims to inspire its merchant-partners to become the best brands they can be, and be on their way to exciting more consumers with their offerings.

Martin Luchangco, head of merchants and partnerships at Grab Philippines, said, “At Grab, we are always ready to provide support to our merchant-partners to ensure they are able to meet success and have a rewarding experience on our platform; in particular, small food businesses hold a lot of potential not just in Grab but in our local food industry as a whole. Indie Eats is just one of the many ways we want to help them in being discovered by more Filipinos, and reach success with us.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Grab PH responds to ‘refund’ issue amidst new order from PCC

Manila, Philippines – Following the latest order from the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to Grab Philippines to return ₱19.3m in refunds to its customers, the company released a new statement, stating that they have complied with the disbursement order of the PCC, adding they have disbursed the full administrative fee in a manner consistent with the agreed mechanics with the PCC.

A spokesperson from Grab Philippines said that since the first order directing Grab Philippines to disburse the administrative fees to eligible passengers last November 14, 2019, Grab Philippines has been proactively monitoring said redemption. Immediately upon its receipt of the PCC Order, Grab Philippines has outlined to the PCC its suggested measures to address this situation and has been eagerly awaiting the PCC’s response.

“Grab Philippines remains fully committed to complying with its undertakings and commitments and doing right by its stakeholders, and is proactively working with the PCC to exhaust all possible measures to ensure that the remaining administrative fee is redeemed by all eligible passengers,” said Grab. 

They also added that following regulations from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), those who have completed the basic know-your-customer (KYC) process can directly redeem the amount which was credited on their GrabPay Wallet accounts.

“Eligible passengers who have not yet completed their basic KYC are required to complete this BSP-mandated process prior to redemption. Grab cannot credit their GrabPay Wallet without completion of basic KYC as this is a regulatory requirement of the BSP,” they further stated.

The company also added that it has yet to receive the final decision of the PCC on the recommendations for those eligible passengers lacking the mandatory KYC.

“We would like to reassure our kababayans that we will continue to work with the competition commission to ensure that the remaining administrative fee amount is fully-redeemed–and focus our efforts in helping the Philippine economy recover,” they concluded.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Grab PH ordered to pay back ₱19.3m refund to users

Manila, Philippines – The Philippines Competition Commission (PCC), the country’s organisation dedicated to regulate business competition, has ordered Grab Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiary MyTaxi.PH, Inc. to pay ₱19.3m (US$368k) in refunds to its users.

The commission found out that only 24.1% of the total refund has been claimed from Grab by eligible passengers as of 15 June 2021, or ₱6.15m out of the total ₱25.45m penalty required by the PCC to be returned to Grab users.

PCC is giving Grab until 22 April to refund the remaining amounts to eligible users, noting that the refund should be immediately credited via GrabPay Wallet without requiring any act from the users to claim the amount.

PCC Chair Arsenio M. Balisacan said, “The penalties are in the form of a refund to remind Grab that every pricing or booking violation committed against passengers shall be paid back to passengers. Grab should immediately release the refunds and continue to adhere to its commitments.”

The antitrust agency previously penalised Grab a total of ₱63.7 million since 2018 for violations of its price and service quality commitments. It was in late 2019 when the Commission imposed on Grab the penalty to return a portion of its commissions to Grab’s passengers for violating its price monitoring commitment.

It has since ordered Grab to issue refunds in the amounts of ₱5.05m in November 2019, ₱14.15m in December 2019, and ₱6.25m in October 2020.

The penalties were the result of Grab’s takeover of Uber in 2018, which raised competition concerns and was subjected to a PCC Decision committing the merged entity to a standard as if it had a rival. During the monitoring period, PCC found that the ride-hailing company committed extraordinary pricing deviations, which resulted in the three sets of penalties.

“The PCC remains steadfast in monitoring Grab’s commitments to temper the firm’s dominance in the ride-hailing market. These measures are in place to prevent Grab from exercising monopolistic behaviour due to its unchallenged market power,” Balisacan said.

He added, “Through the years, the commitment measures are meant to be temporary in disciplining Grab while waiting for the market to mature with new major players. A more permanent pro-competition solution here is to open the market to more Transport Network Companies that can truly rival Grab on the same level.”