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TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Grab expands into venture building

Grab Ventures aims to partner with 8-10 startups over the next two years.

From banking and insurance, ride-hailing giant Grab is once again expanding its services as it moves into venture building with the launch of its innovation arm, Grab Ventures.

The venture arm, which was announced at the company’s sixth year anniversary, aims to work with private sector firms and government agencies to power the growth trajectories of technology companies in the transport, food, logistics and financial services verticals.

“We’ve stood on the shoulders of giants and we now hope to pave the way for other Southeast Asian tech companies to rise and achieve success. Grab will play an active role to grow and foster the region’s startup ecosystem,” said Grab CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan.

Also read: In-car good provider Cargo ties up with Grab

The ride-hailing giant is also launching an accelerator programme called Velocity for growth-stage startups seeking to expand across Southeast Asia. Startups can leverage Grab’s regional footprint, technical and market-specific operational expertise, diverse product ecosystem like GrabPay and GrabRewards as well as a growing network of drivers, delivery partners and merchants.

Grab Ventures is seeking to parner with 8-10 growth-stage startups over the next 24 months.

Also read: Grab launches GrabFoodbeta in Singapore

The ride-haling firm is also teaming up with local government agencies like Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) and Enterprise SG to leverage on their network in an effort to build a startup ecosystem conducive to help startups scale. Areas of support range from capability development, market access and start-up facilitation, regulatory support and grants.

“IMDA is pleased to be working with Grab to take Singapore’s tech scene to the next level. The Velocity programme will help accelerate the growth of startups in Singapore and in Southeast Asia, as they look towards revolutionising a variety of sectors in the region,” said Tan Kiat How, chief executive, IMDA.

EDB and EDBI also join the Velocity programme as early partners, with the shared goal of supporting the growth of tech companies that could solve challenges in the digital, logistics, transportation and fintech sectors.

The Grab Ventures portfolio currently includes GrabCycle, a marketplace for multiple personal mobility partners; Kudo, Indonesia’s leading Online-to-Offline (O2O) platform; Drive.ai, AI solutions for autonomous vehicles; and iKaaz, an emerging markets mobile payments platform.

The company is also reportedly aiming to raise US$1b in a funding round that is set to value the company at US$10b. The move comes on the heels after Grab bought rival Uber's operations and assets in eight countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar as well as US ride-hailing giant's food delivery business.

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