Grab plans to invest $700 million over the next four years in Indonesia, an executive said on Thursday (02/02). (ID Photo/Emral)

Grab Plans to Invest $700m in Indonesia by 2020


FEBRUARY 02, 2017

Jakarta. Application-based ride-hailing platform Grab Indonesia will invest $700 million over the next four years in a bid to expand its business in Southeast Asia's biggest economy, a top executive said on Thursday (02/02).

"We've heard great stories of success in Indonesia and also heard of great failure in Indonesia. We were scared, we were unsure, but we knew we had to start running and heard the problem so we could come up with a local solution," Grab group chief executive and founder Anthony Tan said.

The $700 million investment is part of the company's "2020 Master Plan" for Indonesia in which it pledges to open a research and development facility in Jakarta, hire at least 150 engineers, invest in startup companies and collaborate with more banks to expand its e-payment system.

Grab Indonesia managing director Ridzki Kramadibrata told reporters that the company will start building the research and development facility as soon as this quarter. However, Ridzki said the company has yet to decide where the facility will be located.

Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara, who attended the event, joked that the facility might be located in Karawaci in Tangerang, Banten. He was referring to the district where Lippo Group, one of Grab's investors, is based.

Grab will invest $100 million in financial technology startups as it aims to take part in efforts to deepen financial inclusion in the country.

Furthermore, Grab also seeks to improve its own e-payment platform, known as GrabPay, by collaborating with the Lippo Group and Nobu. Grab users will eventually be able to use the platform to pay for goods and services at Lippo's retail partners.

Grab came to Indonesia as GrabTaxi, an app-based taxi booking service founded in Malaysia in 2014. The company started in Jakarta for strategic reasons.

Despite never mentioning the exact number of users, nor driver partners in the country, Indonesia is said to be Grab's largest market in Southeast Asia after slightly more than two years of operations.

The company claims that its application has been downloaded 33 million times and that it has 630,000 drivers in the Southeast Asia region.