Singapore-based Grab has just scored a new ally in its battle against Uber and other on-demand ride apps. The company, which claims to be Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing app, announced a strategic partnership with Lippo Group, one of Indonesia’s largest conglomerates.
Known for its real-estate holdings across Asia, Lippo Group is also making forays into tech businesses. Last year it launched and poured $500 million in MatahariMall, the largest known e-commerce investment in Indonesia so far. MatahariMall, a competitor to Sequoia-backed Tokopedia, is targeting sales of $1 billion within two or three years of its launch.
Grab will provide logistic services for Matahari Mall. Formerly known as GrabTaxi, the company rebranded in January to reflect the fact that it offers several other services, including deliveries, in addition to its original licensed taxi rides. Grab claims that one of its businesses, GrabCar, held more than 50 percent of the private car market in Indonesia at the end of last year.
We’ve contacted Grab for more information about its deal with MatahariMall, including its value.
“Lippo Group and Grab are both homegrown Southeast Asian companies. Technology can be a key driver of economic growth, and we are both invested in opening the digital economy to all Indonesians,” said Grab co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan in a release. “For Grab, this means using technology to help commuters navigate traffic congestion, and give drivers’ more sustainable livelihoods.”
Grab, which is backed by investors like Didi Kuaidi (China’s largest ride app), GGV Capital, and SoftBank, is reportedly valued at more than $1 billion. Its rivals include Uber and Indonesia-based Go-Jek, both of which are also tackling the delivery/logistics space. The competition requires a lot of capital for all the startups, but one of Grab’s biggest advantages is its alliance with other SoftBank on-demand transportation investments Lyft, Ola (in India), and Didi Kuaidi.