(Jan 16): After sending rival Uber Technologies Inc packing from Singapore and other Southeast Asian markets, homegrown ride-hailing firm Grab has set itself a stiffer target. It wants to be a regional super-app.
Think of it as a digital conglomerate that hooks customers for one thing, only to promise them value for several others, sort of like a Netflix Inc. subscription that also tracks your blood pressure and orders a pizza as you watch “Scarface.” Thanks to the path set by China’s wildly successful Alipay and WeChat Pay, getting the consumer finance angle right has become a must for Asia’s wannabe super-apps.
The challenge before Grab co-founder Anthony Tan is simple. Can he do finance better and faster than Go-Jek Indonesia PT, the rival spawned by his Harvard University classmate Nadiem Makarim?