Hotels, Tickets, Videos, and More: Get Ready for Grab the “Super App”
JAKARTA—Grab is already Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing app, but the Singapore-based startup is far from done. This year, the company is moving further away from merely being a transport service and is set to introduce new “tiles” designed to respond to its customers’ every need and want.
At a regional event held at the Indonesian capital, Grab bared five new services and one new “food innovation” integrated into what it is calling one “super app.”
The five new services are Grab Hotels, in partnership with Agoda and Booking.com, Grab Videos, in partnership with Hooq, Grab Tickets, in partnership with major theater chains, Grab Bills Pay, and Grab Wheels. The new food innovation, Grab Kitchen, will introduce “cloud kitchens” to make ordering food from popular food stalls and restaurants easier and hassle-free.
“The idea is to provide the best possible experience for our customers,” said Jerald Singh, group head of product and design of Grab. “It’s not just about us introducing all of these individual new tiles [into the Grab app], but seeing how Grab connects all of these services. It’s in the the seamless connection out of all of these partnerships where our power lies."
“We’re growing the ecosystem together not to do everything, but to do only those [services] that matter,” he added.
1| Grab Hotels
With outbound travel in Southeast Asia expected to balloon to over $115 billion by 2028, it only seemed logical for Grab to get in on the lucrative hotel bookings space. The company is partnering with Agoda and Booking.com, which together possess the region’s largest catalog of hotel inventory.
Singh said Grab users will be incentivized to use the new Hotels tile with special hotel offers; upgrades to Booking.com’s top-tier user base called Genius, which offers special rates for its members; other discounts and offers; and—soon to be available—even free travel insurance.
Grab Hotels will be available in the Philippines starting May 9.
2| Grab Tickets
Grab Philippines has already announced a partnership with SM Cinemas, allowing users to purchase cinema tickets via QR payments and Grab Pay. The new Tickets tile integrated in the Grab app will allow users a faster and simpler way to search, compare, and buy tickets not just from SM Cinemas, but from other major theater chains in the country.
Grab will soon expand this service outside of movie tickets to include concerts, musicals, stage plays, and other live events.
This service will be available by the end of 2019.
Already being pilot-tested at Uptown Bonifacio in Taguig, this service will give users access to electronic scooters to get from one point to another.
“When it’s too near to take a taxi but it’s too hot to walk, you can take Grab Wheels,” said Singh. Users can essentially rent the scooter and then deposit it at designated parking spots after their ride.
GrabWheels will be rolled out in other township areas soon.
4| Grab Bills Pay
By the third quarter of the year, the Grab app will have a Bills Payment tile that promises users a secure and hassle-free way to pay water, electricity, telco, and Internet bills. The service is already available in Vietnam.
5| Grab Videos
The startup giant is also rolling out an online video streaming service in partnership with Southeast Asia’s first video content provider, Hooq. The service will offer at least 8,000 hours of TV and movies from Hollywood, Asian studios, as well as free-to-air content directly through the app.
Grab Videos will be available in the Philippine in the second half of 2019.
GrabKitchen is a concept that will introduce “cloud kitchens” or multiple F&B brands in “a single central kitchen.” Grab plans to lease a space and invite food and restaurant brands in a delivery-only kitchen space. GrabFood users will find it easier to order food, while merchant-partners can expand their businesses and increase the income.
GrabKitchen is already available in Jakarta and will soon launch in Manila in a still undisclosed location.
In all, Singh said Grab intends to sign-up at least 500 partners by the end of the year.
“It is through partnerships that we have become the only true regional super app with multiple services in multiple markets,” he said. “It enables us to expand into new verticals quicker than we can on our own, and at the same time it empowers our partners to scale their business with our reach and assets.”