Grab said it will invest USD 500 million in Vietnam over the next five years to tap opportunities in the country’s burgeoning digital economy.
The announcement came after Grab president Ming Maa identified Vietnam as its “next growth market” in a Reuters report.
The half-billion-dollar investment will be used to launch new services in Vietnam and expand Grab’s transport, food, and payments networks in the country while identifying new opportunities in mobility solutions, fintech, and logistics, according to a statement released by the company.
“This investment is a reflection of our redoubled commitment to Vietnam. The country’s rapidly developing economy and young, mobile-first population makes it ripe for the adoption of digital services,” said Russell Cohen, head of regional operations of Grab.
Jerry Lim, country head of Grab Vietnam, said the investment will also drive efforts to improve the quality of life for Vietnamese people “beyond the end-users of our super app ecosystem.”
Grab said it will partner with financial institutions to provide services to micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses, helping them access credit and insurance products to grow and protect their livelihoods.
There will also be investment to increase its R&D headcount in Vietnam and work with city governments and policymakers to harness data in alleviating urban issues, such as traffic congestion and pollution. Grab will also set targets to reduce plastic waste for its GrabFood delivery service in Vietnam.
After beginning service in the country five years ago, Grab is now present in 43 provinces and cities in Vietnam, offering services including ride-hailing as well as food and package deliveries. In 2018, Grab partnered with local fintech firm Moca to launch a digital wallet.
In Vietnam, GrabFood has expanded to 15 cities and provinces in Vietnam since its launch in Ho Chi Minh City in June 2018.
Grab’s operations in Vietnam have not been entirely smooth. The firm was entangled in a lengthy lawsuit with local taxi firm Vinasun, and stricter government regulations for ride-hailing companies have caused occasional hiccups.