Grab turns 5, celebrates user milestones
By Digital News Asia June 14, 2017
- 3x growth in last year to 45 million downloads, and up to 2.5 million daily rides
- Adds GrabNow, a new service to digitise street hailing
GRAB, a Southeast Asian technology company, celebrated its fifth anniversary recently and released the “Moving SEA Together” report, which highlights the company’s growth and impact on lives across Southeast Asia.
Today, Grab has up to 2.5 million rides daily in Southeast Asia. Grab is in 55 cities across Southeast Asia, and the Grab app has been downloaded onto over 45 million devices, triple the number from June last year.
The GrabPay user base is projected to double every quarter until the end of 2017. GrabPay Credits, which is a cashless top-up payments option, has grown more than 80% month-on-month since its launch in December 2016.
“As Grab’s business has grown, the scale of problems we are solving has grown with it. We are an active contributor to solving Southeast Asia’s fundamental issues: congestion, jobs, trust in and access to the digital economy. These issues affect SEA’s long-term economic growth and Grab is very much committed to investing in our region.
“The only way to make meaningful long-term impact is to be laser focused on the important, everyday services to consumers: a more efficient transport network and wider access to cashless payments.
“The ‘Moving SEA Together’ report is so meaningful to my co-founder Ling and I, because it affirms our belief that a homegrown startup can make a difference in the world, as long as we focus on doing the right thing. Every decision we make is guided by how best we can solve a local problem, and how it will benefit people and the wider community.
“We’ve been blessed with help from so many people - fellow Grabbers, drivers, agents, customers and investors - who put their faith in us, and encouraged us to always work towards big audacious goals. You can call us crazy, but perhaps Grab is a place for people who believe that what they do will improve lives through technology,” said Grab co-founder and group CEO Anthony Tan.
Looking beyond its anniversary, Grab is continuing to innovate its business and announced GrabNow, a new service which digitises the street hailing experience. To be available first in Jakarta, passengers can flag down a GrabBike driver on the street, book a ride with the same driver immediately and pay via the Grab app.
This allows passengers to enjoy the best of both worlds – the immediacy of flagging and the benefits of the Grab platform, including safety standards, upfront fixed fares and GrabRewards loyalty points. Grab will also expand its telematics and GrabChat messaging features to keep improving the user experience.
Five years of moving SEA together
The “Moving SEA Together” report shows how Grab has built a track record of solving local problems over the last five years, and changed its drivers’ and passengers’ lives in meaningful ways.
1. Making commuting easier and safer for passengers
On average, Grab commuters reach their destinations in less than half the time (52% reduction in travel time on average) compared to public transport options in their cities. The greatest time-savings come from the Philippines (70% reduction in travel times) and Indonesia (64.
With the GrabNow service, passengers can shave even more time off their commute.
2. Improving drivers’ earning potential
Grab driver-partners earn on average one-third (32%) more on a per hour basis compared to average worker wages across all of Grab’s markets. Driver-partner incomes have been strongest in Vietnam (55% more than average wages), Malaysia (48%) and the Philippines (35%).
With 70% of Southeast Asians still lacking basic internet access, the Grab app with Grab micro financed phones made it possible for many driver-partners to first experience the power of the internet - bridging the digital divide.
Grab has assisted in opening bank accounts for more than two-thirds of its driver-partners (640,000 people), introducing them to banking and other financial services for the very first time in their lives.
Nearly one million driver partners (more than 930,000) now rely on the Grab platform for income to their families. The number of drivers has grown 340% year-on-year since 2013. In Indonesia, year-on-year growth stands at a whopping 574%.
3. Developing a more efficient transport network
Increasingly, Grab is broadening its services to new modes of transportation that cater to moving groups of people together, such as carpooling options which bring down fares of point-to-point travel.
Its carpooling options GrabShare and GrabHitch have started easing congestion and reducing air pollution. Grab saves an estimated almost 3.2 million kilogrammes in carbon emissions every year, by offering carpooling options and further optimising its booking system.
“Grab‟s business is evolving; we have not only re-defined what people traditionally think ride-hailing is, but are building a consumer platform that focuses on the most important everyday services - transport and mobile payments. We will always develop solutions for our driver partners, agent partners, and customers first.
“We are the market leader in Southeast Asia because we out-innovate – particularly in business model innovation, where we find solutions to improve existing services and work with governments to introduce effective new ways of serving the public; and we out-execute – we have passionate local teams in every country who know the local problems inside-out,” added AnthonyTan.
Grab expands its telematics programme
First launched to reduce speeding, Grab’s telematics initiative tracked whether drivers were going above the speed limits of the roads in their countries. After sending reminders to drivers who were speeding, there was a 35% reduction in speeding incidences across Southeast Asia.
Starting today, the Grab driver app will not only monitor speeding, but also the following indicators of safe driving behaviour: hard braking, sudden acceleration and dangerous swerving.
With a combination of machine learning and predictive analytics, Grab’s telematics will identify rides that exhibit dangerous driving behaviour and then present drivers with weekly reports of their safety scores.
The enhanced telematics programme has launched in Singapore, and will be progressively rolled out to other countries in the region.
Designed for Southeast Asian users who actively use messaging services, GrabChat has been well received by Grab users, with passengers and drivers having exchanged more than 100 million messages since its launch in October 2016.
Eight in 10 passengers cancel less when they use GrabChat, as they can easily inform their driver of where they are using template messages like “I’m here” or “Ok coming over now”.
Grab has also rolled out auto-translation of template messages in five languages (Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, Simplified Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese) to cater to regional travellers.
Making a difference
Grab to create 5 million micro-entrepreneurs in Indonesia by 2018
Grab, MDEC, World Bank Group Launch OpenTraffic platform to combat local traffic woes
Grab to acquire Indonesian O2O platform Kudo