Grab accelerates expansion of deliveries across Southeast Asia

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Grab Holdings Inc., Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing giant, is expanding delivery services from convenience stores and supermarkets across 50 cities in the region.

The Singapore-based startup said it has teamed up with 3,000 stores as it accelerates delivery of groceries, toilet paper, packaged snacks and beverages to cater to consumers mostly stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Grab provided the service in two countries before the Covid-19 outbreak, and it’s now available in eight, adding the likes of Myanmar and Cambodia.

Ride-hailing businesses were hammered globally during the pandemic as people stopped going to work and eliminated unnecessary socialization. While Grab is private and doesn’t disclose financial data, Uber Technologies Inc. said its global rides business is down 70% from last year. To combat the downturn, ride-hailing companies have pivoted to expand their drivers’ delivery of food and other goods.

Demi Yu, regional head of GrabFood and GrabMart, said the company is boosting investment in deliveries this year to meet rising consumer demand.

In the U.S., DoorDash, the biggest food-delivery app in the country, started delivering goods from convenience stores in April. In Southeast Asia, e-commerce operators such as Qoo10 and Shopee have started delivering daily essentials, while Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Southeast Asian arm Lazada Group and Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Now are seeking to meet demand for fresh groceries.

Grab is gearing up to expand into grocery services. In Singapore and Indonesia, consumers can now order fresh produce and premium meats from urban farmers and local suppliers. It’s also working with traditional market operators in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Bloomberg News
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