Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing company Grab is looking to forge tie-ups with Vietnamese conglomerates to deepen its footprint in the country, Grab Vietnam head Jerry Lim said on Tuesday.
He was speaking at the launch of GrabFood in Hanoi on Tuesday.
This portal had recently reported that Grab is negotiating to sell a minority stake in its Thai unit to Central Group, seeking to tap the retail conglomerate’s extensive presence in the country.
Reuters first reported on Grab’s interest in doing business with JD Central, the $500-million joint venture between Central and Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com.
Partnerships and alliances appear to be de rigueur these days.
GrabExpress, the ride-hailing firm’s delivery arm, has announced a partnership with Sendo.vn, an e-commerce portal backed by Japan’s SBI Holdings, for a three-hour express delivery service in Ho Chi Minh City.
Grab has previously announced a strategic partnership with Vietnamese payments firm Moca to promote cashless payments. This portal has previously reported that the partnership with Moca is likely to have involved Grab picking up a stake in the payments firm, much like its grocery delivery partnership with HappyFresh.
“Starting this month, our customers can look forward to new modes of payments using a new e-wallet to pay for both online and offline transactions,” Lim said.
Competition in Vietnam heating up
Grab’s archrival Go-Jek launched its local affiliate, Go-Viet, in August, marking its first overseas expansion outside home market Indonesia. The unicorn has set aside $500 million for its regional expansion.
Similarly, Vietnamese ride-sharing startup FastGo has said it plans to raise $50 million to fund its expansion in the country and is hoping its knowledge of the local market will serve it well against Grab’s ballooning war chest.
“Competition keeps us relevant,” said Lim.
Grab set up an R&D centre in Ho Chi Minh City last year and plans to hire more local engineers and scientists this year.
In May 2018, Grab kicked off its on-demand food delivery service GrabFood in Ho Chi Minh City and officially brought it to Hanoi on Tuesday. Its biggest competitor in Vietnam is Foody, which was acquired by Singapore’s Sea Limited in a $64 million deal last year.
“Vietnam is the biggest growth opportunity in the region where we are seeing an impressive growth,” said Demi Yu, GrabFood director for Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam.
She also revealed that GrabFood targets to be in more than 100 cities across Southeast Asia by the end of this year from 33 cities currently.
According to a report on Dealstreetasia