Uber’s Strongest Rival Grab Plans to Take Over the Indonesian Market

Grab Taxi was renamed as Grab recently. Grab is a technology based company that offers that offers a wide variety of logistics and ride-hailing services.

Grab is operated in Southeast Asia; especially it is operated in the countries like Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. As of second quarter of 2016, about 350,000 drivers have registered with the Grab network. And the Grab app has hit more than 19 million downloads across the Southeast Asia region.

Basically, this ride-hailing company was established as MyTeksi in Malaysia in the year 2012. This taxi booking app is largely focused on the Southeast Asia. This app was founded by Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling, the graduates of Harvard Business School. The idea for Grab Taxi generated when Anthony was pursuing his schooling at Harvard Business School, while his classmate complained him about how difficult it is to hail a taxi cab in the country of Malaysia. At last, this complaint has become a technology.

Tan began to make a business plan for bringing out the Uber-like service; this idea leads the youngest of three brothers to exit their family business in 2012 and started on the idea of Grab Taxi.

Basically, Grab Taxi is an on-demand ride-hailing service that assigns the available cabs to the nearby commuters. This technology works on mapping and location-sharing technology. Tan presented this idea to the panel at Harvard Business Plan competition in the year 2011. This made them succeed in the competition after many years. Are you looking for better taxi riding app you may try uber for x handy mobile application and also available on the market.

Launch of Grab Taxi

Grab Taxi, or MyTeksi (Malaysian name for Grab Taxi) was officially established to the public in June 2012. The company slowly expanded their services to the Philippines in August 2013, then it gradually it expanded to Thailand and Singapore in October 2013.

Grab Taxi expanded its business in the following years too. In 2014, the company was established in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam in February, following this, the services were introduced in Jakarta in Indonesia in June, the same year. Further, there were a couple of expansions in the same year; Grab Taxi was expanded to Cebu in July and Davao in October, both the cities belong to the country of Philippines. In September 2014, the beta version of the app was launched in Thailand, in the Pattaya city.

In Malaysia and Singapore, the company launched a GrabCar in May 2014. GrabCar is a different approach to the transportation service; these cars can be used through a licensed partner, this is an attempt to overcome the lack of supply availability of public transport during the peak hours. Following the GrabCar, Grab Taxi introduced the GrabBike service in Ho Chi Minh City, first, it was introduced as the trial service in November 2014.

In February 2015, the company launched a GrabCar+; it is a service that offers the fleet of high-end cars. First, GrabCar+ was introduced in the Philippines. In the following month, the company expanded its service to Iloilo, after this launch, Iloilo became the fourth city in the country of Philippines.

Partners and funding

The initial period of Grab was tough in many aspects. Tan started asking the biggest taxi fleet companies to try their product, by meeting the people directly. After some attempts, the fifth company he approached gave him an opportunity, this company was a small company operating with a fleet of 30. The company had a good business and raised US$90 million in the first 12 months from the leading Chinese venture capital firm GGV Capital, Vertex Venture Holdings and more funding companies.

In May 2014, the download rate of Grab Taxi was 1.2 million downloads. At June 2013, the company claimed that in every eight seconds, there will be at least one booking from their app. And there will be at least 10,000 bookings per day. The company has achieved sixteen-fold growth in a year.

By the end of December 2014, the company managed to raise US $250 million in series D round. The company is fully invested by SoftBank Corp, this is the largest investment made on the Southeast Asian Internet Company on all the public records so far. The great news is that the total investment received by the company for the past 14 months is $340 million.

After this rapid growth of the company, Grab taxi opened a $100 million Research and Development center in the business district of Singapore. This new facility hires 200 engineers and data scientists for the next few years to serve with Grab Taxi. Wei Zhu, the ex-engineer at Facebook and the creator of Facebook Connect who left the company in August 2015, and joined the engineers’ team at Grab Taxi.

The prominence on software engineers and the recruitment of the data scientists made the company to develop new tools; this could also expand the features of the app and could pave way for the well-established staff management. In 2016, the company has opened a new engineering center in Seattle that will act as a talent place and it will attract more talents in the United States. The company said that it has no plans to launch their services in North America.

Grab Taxi is being operated in 30 cities in 6 countries including Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia in the Southeast Asian region.

The presence of Grab Taxi in the six Southeast Asian countries has created a fall in the Southeast Asia’s taxi industry, as Grab Taxi provides an attractive transportation service to most of the tech populations. In Singapore, grab Taxi received more votes when compared to the traditional taxi service.

Problems faced by Grab

Some regulatory issues have arisen for booking the rides in the third party apps like Grab, but still, there are some regulatory issues faced by the company in the 6 markets where its services are active. Grab also received support from the Malaysian Public Land Transport Commission, when the issue arose in Malaysia. Grab is working along with the government to improve the fame of the taxi drivers operating in the city.


GrabBike is derived from the Grab Taxi. The motorcycle services of GrabBike are found in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Bangkok, Vietnam, Jakarta, Thailand, and Indonesia. All these cities have heavy traffic jams, so motorcycle will be faster than any other vehicles and it can easily move in the traffic jams. Above all, GrabBike provides medical insurance to both the drivers and the passengers.

Grab plans to invest $700 million in Indonesia

Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant recently said that the company plans to invest $700 million in Indonesia in order to expand their business in Indonesia for the next four years. This is Grab’s bigger ever investment in any other country since its establishment.

Grab’s investment in Indonesia has set other ride-hailing companies in Indonesia on fire. Uber is one of the strongest rivals of Grab in Indonesia.

Grab has also planned to build a research and development Centre and start a new investment over there to develop and expand its platform in Indonesia. The company has also hired the former national police chief of Indonesia to help the company in the corporate governance.

The R&D center in Jakarta will develop the solutions such as algorithms for addressing the traffic and road regulations in the capital of Indonesia.

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