HANOI: Ride-hailing firm Grab announced on Wednesday (Aug 28) it will invest US$500 million in Vietnam over the next five years to expand its services in the Southeast Asian country.
The company will expand its transport, food and payments networks in the country, Grab said in a statement.
“This investment is a reflection of our redoubled commitment to Vietnam,” said Russell Cohen, Head of Regional Operations of Grab.
“The country’s rapidly developing economy and emerging middle class population makes it ripe for the adoption of digital services,” he said.
“We’re very excited about Vietnam. We see very similar characteristics to Indonesia,” Grab president Ming Maa told Reuters in an interview on Aug 22.
Like Indonesia, many middle-class and young consumers in Vietnam are using apps and websites to access services, Mr Maa said.
Vietnam ranks third or fourth among Grab’s top markets, said Mr Maa, who joined the company three years ago from its major investor, Japan’s Softbank Group, and a previous decade-long stint at investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Grab partnered with Vietnamese fintech firm Moca in 2018 to launch a digital wallet. Grab formed a joint venture with Credit Saison, a Japanese credit card company, last year to offer loans and credit analysis to consumers and micro-entrepreneurs across Southeast Asia.
Grab was Vietnam’s most downloaded ride-sharing app from January to July, according to market data and analytics firm App Annie. Aside from Go-Jek, Be is another ride-hailing competitor.
This announcement comes just weeks after Grab unveiled a US$2 billion plan in Indonesia.