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Southeast Asia’s Grab launches micro-insurance and SME loans

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A few weeks ago, Grab raised around $1.5 billion as part of the bigger $5 billion Series H funding from the Vision Fund. This will be used to gain an edge over the rival Go-Jek as both of them compete to become the most on-demand app for the vast population (more than 600 million) consumers of Southeast Asia. The launch is coming close on the heels of the funding.

In 2018 Grab had acquired Uber’s business in Southeast Asia, and in the past year, it has pushed a ‘super app’ strategy for its consumers. This is to say that it has been vying to become a daily app for Southeast Asia, catering to rides, food delivery, online payments, and other on-demand services. Financial services form a major chunk of Grab’s focus and now, it is debuting on providing loans and micro-insurance for the first time ever. The first market they have launched in is Singapore, but they have plans to spread out into Southeast Asia’s five other major markets soon. The senior managing director and co-head of Gab Financial, Reuben Lai had reportedly confirmed this in the Money 20/20 conference, Singapore, even though he did not provide a timeframe for the same.

Lai also confirmed that Grab’s launch into the financial services had happened last year itself, but it was purely on an offline mode. The newly announced financial services will be available on the app now. A marketplace of financial products is also in the pipeline. Grab is planning to allow other financial organizations to be able to promote their services to its users. Even though it doesn’t provide exact figures for its active user base, the registered number of users is around 130 million. There are also plans to allow selective partners to develop services within its app, like grocery delivery and video streaming.

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