SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Southeast Asia’s Grab on Tuesday launched Grab Ventures, its innovation arm to develop technology start-ups in sectors such as transport, food services, logistics and financial services, further expanding beyond ride-hailing.
“We have articulated our vision to be the everyday app of Southeast Asia, so we are interested in any tech that enables that vision in terms of becoming a complete O2O [online-to- offline] mobile platform,” Chris Yeo, head of Grab Ventures, told Reuters.
He said it could look to develop businesses in-house or work with existing start-ups. Grab Ventures’ current portfolio includes self-driving technology firm Drive.ai and Indonesian payments service Kudo. It will seek to partner eight to ten growth-stage start-ups over the next 24 months and may invest in a few.
The new firm will work with government agencies across the region to support such companies by helping them develop and scale technologies. It may also look for private-sector partners, Yeo said.
Its accelerator program, which will provide expertise, technical resources and networks to the start-ups, includes partners from government agencies such as the Infocommunications Media Development Authority of Singapore and Enterprise Singapore.
(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Vyas Mohan)